Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thai Cooking - HipCooks style

Thai food? Cooking class? Yes. Please. This post is dedicated to my lovely friend Leah, who generously gave Van and me a Hipcooks cooking class as a wedding present.  Almost 10 months later, we decided to use it.  Not really for anything special in particular, which is probably what I was saving it for - but decided on the "Thai One On" cooking class.  We attended the class at the West LA location, which is located on Robertson Blvd. Easy parking in a nearby neighborhood.  There's also an East LA location, which would have been much closer, but we wanted to go to the other location to leave our hood and try something new.  Although Hipcooks classes are only offered in certain cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Seattle I would definitely recommend taking a class if you get the chance.  There is a huge selection of classes to take, ranging from asian inspired cuisine like sushi and thai to a more farm to table menu. The cost is $65/ per person and includes a class, big and hopefully yummy dinner and a bit of alcohol too. Our Thai selection came with a Singha tasting, definitely not enough to get drunk or even tipsy, but enough to take the edge off. ;)  They probably do that because they don't want the classes to turn into a drunkfest.
 So yes, neither Van or I had attended a Hipcooks class before, and we were pleasantly surprised by the comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of the class.  There were about 14 people total in the class, mostly couples but a few singletons.  I believe our teacher was named Jenny, (if I'm wrong- someone PLEASE correct me) she was super friendly and made everyone feel at ease, even if someone did not have a lot of cooking experience.  The set-up was around a large counter space, and basically everyone was able to take turns making different courses.  This class is not for people who want to make everything themselves, because you don't really get that opportunity.

Also, if you're squeamish about other people touching your food- this would not be the class for you.  Basically, even though everyone washes their hands multiple times a night, (are supposed to anyways) everyone is making food for everyone else.  
For example, our menu for the evening was:

Veggie Spring Rolls
Chicken Satay with peanut sauce
Coconut rice with shrimp cilantro

(First Course)
Pad Thai with tofu
Papaya Salad
(Second Course)
Green Curry with eggplant and mushrooms
Red Curry with chicken and cashews

Black rice with coconut cream

I personally got to help out with making the peanut sauce for the chicken satay, which was good.  Probably my favorite items of the night were the appetizers: Veggie spring rolls and coconut rice with shrimp and cilantro:

 Yes, we hand-rolled those spring rolls. And only ripped a couple of sheets of rice paper in the process.

I also loved the papaya salad.  Van was disappointed that the pad thai was not stir-fried, but it was obviously healthier the way we made it, which was basically boiling the noodles and then combining the ingredients in a "pasta salad" way.
Finally, the dessert was really light and delicious.  At this point though we were so full though that Van and I chose to split one, it was black sticky rice with coconut cream:
Also, because we took this class in West LA on a Friday night, the woman sitting next to Van and I worked behind the camera on a lot of major motion pictures, so she took this cool pic of us.  Check out the ceiling.
All and all fun Friday night activity, I believe the entire class was 3 hours, so we didn't leave until around 10pm, and DEFINITELY come hungry. I hope to try another class in the future, but probably at the East side location next time.
xo Megan


  1. Looks good! I've always wanted to take a class with food I don't usually make ;) though I'm not sure about other people handling everything...

  2. Haha- yeah. I think I might want to try the sushi class next. I know what you mean, at first I was a little squeamish, but I think the teachers are pretty good at making sure everyone is very clean and sanitary.