Manchester’s bustling Asian community means that you are never short of a place to grab a tasty slice of the Orient. However, if this leaves your mouth watering for more, there are also plenty of places where you can learn how to whip up a Far Eastern style banquet in your own home.
1. Chaophraya Thai Cooking School
Considered by many to be Manchester’s finest Thai restaurant, Chaophraya offers a one-day cookery class designed to get even the most hopeless of cooks chopping and sizzling like a pro.
Guests will learn a variety of traditional techniques from one of the award-winning restaurant’s top chefs, before rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in themselves. Of course, the best bit is sitting down in the plush restaurant afterwards to enjoy the variety of dishes cooked by your own fair hands!
The package costs £60 and includes refreshments on arrival, all ingredients and equipment, certificates and recipes to take away, as well as a Chaophraya goodie bag.
Chapel Walks, off Cross Street, Manchester. Tel: +44 161 832 8342
2. Vermilion Thai Cooking School
Situated near the City of Manchester Stadium and the iconic B of The Bang sculpture, Vermilion brings some much needed glamour to this corner of the city. Costing £4.5 million to build, the impressive three-storey bar and restaurant is a true assault on the senses. With its vivacious interior design and innovative Asian fusion menus, Vermilion has burst onto the Manchester food scene.
Working in partnership with the Thai government, the cookery class focuses on the health benefits of Thai cuisine and ingredients. For £60, guests will learn how to cook up a healthy and delicious three course meal and will receive certificates, tuition notes and a DVD to take away with them.
Lord North Street, off Hulme Hall Lane, Manchester. Tel: +44 161 202 0055
3. Ning Malay Cookery School
Tucked in the uber-trendy Northern Quarter, Ning is one of Manchester’s best kept secrets. Serving a fresh and inspiring mix of Malaysian, Thai and Asian fusion cuisine, the restaurant has an extremely relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The popular cookery class lasts approximately four hours and begins with a workshop-style introduction to Malaysian culture, ingredients and food, led by Head Chef, Norman Musa. Participants then get busy in the kitchen, preparing a typical Malay family meal consisting of four or five dishes.
The class costs £69 and includes all ingredients and recipe handouts. There are also regular vegetarian sessions.
92-94 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester. Tel: +44 161 238 9088
4. Sweet Mandarin Chinese Cookery School
Owned by three sisters who are the third generation of female restaurateurs in their family, Sweet Mandarin has a reputation for delivering outstanding Chinese cuisine.
With two cookery programmes available, budding chefs can experience a beginner’s guide to the dim sums, spring rolls and won tons of modern Chinese food, or can choose a fiery introduction to the fast and furious world of the stir fry.
Each session costs £75 and includes lesson, ingredients, recipe sheets and lunch. Due to the popularity of these classes, bookings must be made at least two weeks in advance.
19 Copperas Street, Manchester. Tel: +44 161 832 8848
Photo of Asian food by Sanctu