A town located in central Bali, Ubud is popularly known as ‘The Center of Art of Culture’. It was described to me as a town made up of small villages, each of which specializes in a different creative art: silver and jewelry, basket weaving, oil painting, batik and textiles, and some seriously amazing wood carving. I am so glad I didn’t hesitate when deciding where to spend most of my time in Bali. In fact, I extended my stay in Ubud and look forward to going back.
Some of my most memorable experiences abroad involve taking classes which involve you in some part of their culture, so I signed up for a cooking class in Ubud. I chose Cafe Wayan, a popular restaurant where I had been enjoying lunch almost daily. For this class, they drove myself and eight other students through the gorgeous countryside and rice fields to the location of their cooking class; we spent the afternoon in an open-air (covered) kitchen surrounded by gardens and rice fields.
Traditionally, Balinese cuisine is very spicy and the dishes prepared in this class did not hold back. Ingredients they use often include turmeric, red chili peppers, lemon grass, grated coconut and lime juice. Yummm! We prepared five beautiful traditional dishes:
Balinese Chicken Salad:
Chicken Satay Bali Style (with Lemongrass):
Vegetables with Coconut and Spices:
Steamed Fish and Shrimp in Banana Leaf:
Fried Banana with Coconut:
Everyone was able to contribute and enjoy the huge meal we created. We were also treated to personal copies of the recipe book and a lovely gift of a handmade table setting for each person. I would definitely recommend anyone visiting Ubud to take a cooking class, or any kind of cultural class for that matter.
Have you tried Balinese food or had a chance to take a cooking class abroad? Feel free to share your experience and impressions in the comments below. Thank you for reading.