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Am so excited that Urban adventures have released a new experience: Cambodia cook-out - cooking class in Siem Reap - In 2013 I was lucky enough to get a trip with Intrepid Travel to Cambodia and was rather thrilled at the opportunity. Cambodia was on my bucket list after all - I spent time in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap exploring the country with travel colleagues (the best part of my job!)
One of the highlights of travelling to Cambodia was sampling the cuisine and along the way had some amazing meals at the Tree training restaurants. I can't speak highly enough of them. Tree operates several restaurants in Cambodia. This inspired us, in typical traveller style, we decided that we had to learn how to cook those delicious meals! So we asked our guide/leader to organise a cooking class in Siem Reap on our last morning as we had time to spare.
On the morning in question, we were promptly picked up in trishaws from our hotel and transferred to the outskirts of Siem Reap, where we were greeted by our chefs - and guided to a gorgeous little purpose built kitchen/class room. The kitchen was surrounded by a gorgeous garden, a mini lake where we could sit and enjoy our glorious dishes.
We were each given a workspace with our own individual portable stove and all equipment required. We were then shown how to prepare three dishes. We learned how to make the following three dishes.
Cambodian Green Mango Salad
Fish Amok (coconut fish curry)
Sticky rice balls with palm sugar
The thing I loved about this cooking school was that it was not just a demonstration, so many cooking classes just do a demonstration. This lesson was hands on and we had to recreate the pastes using fresh ingredients and dishes based on instructions given by the chef. The chef was great at keeping us entertained and encouraged us to compete as to who could use the mortar and pestle best to create a smooth curry paste.
The highlight of the dishes that we prepared was the Green mango salad - I could not get enough of the dish and it fast became the dish to order at every meal... well almost.
Once the three dishes completed we were then seated at a table set on the little lake surrounded by lush greenery and enjoyed our own masterchef produced dishes. (the palm sugar balls were our least favourite as they were a little bland)
The cooking class, also includes a walk of a village next door to the cooking school, where you meet a local family and get a glimpse of the issues that Cambodians face and their extremely tough living conditions. The family receives a bag of rice from the group and is a way for the cooking school to give back to the local community.
The experience was such a highlight and as a group of travellers this gave us the opportunity to relax and connect. We loved our experience so much, that on our return, I contacted the manager at Urban Adventures and told him to include this experience on his list of Urban Adventures excursions. I am so very excited that this year it has been released and love the idea that I played a part in contributing to a new experience. So if you are ever in Siem Reap please give yourself extra time and book the experience in by selecting the below link - I promise you will love it!
**Note the only difference with the current tour is that it is in the afternoon whereas my cooking lesson was a morning session and they have added a temple visit too what a bonus **
Have you ever booked an Urban Adventure if so which one and what did you love about it ?