n addition to the immense raw beauty of Bali, visiting this magical island gives you access to the best culinary experiences. The Indonesian cuisine is revered world-over as a pacesetter to what perfection looks like. When visiting Ubud, you have the opportunity to sample the traditional cuisine and get to experience this food haven for yourself. The local cuisine employs rice, noodles coconut, vegetables, fresh herbs and spices to craft winning recipes. Impeccable meals are made from local ingredients.
When visiting the colorful town of Ubud, you can take the awesome flavors and tastes along with you. The key is to take a cooking class to uncover the secrets of the Balinese cuisine. Take advantage of this learning opportunity and thankfully, there are many cooking classes you can attend in Ubud. This article sheds light on the top classes where you can sharpen your culinary skills to learn how to create beautiful Bali food wherever you go.
1. CASA LUNA COOKING SCHOOL
This is an Ubud cooking school that was founded by Janet De Neefe and her husband Pak Ketut. Among others, the couple runs Bar Luna and Honeymoon Guesthouses. Janet is the proud founder of the Ubud Food Festival and has produced a cookbook. Having lived in Ubud for over 30 years, she has collected a wealth of culinary information which she shares in her classes. The Australian newspaper actually called this cooking school one of the best in the world. Here, you will find weekly classes where you find a smoked duck class, a vegetarian food as medicine class; among others. You can be sure to delve into Balinese food, cooking methods and even culinary myths. Learning is also fun with practical demonstrations and hands on practice. With the venue being the inviting Second Honeymoon Guesthouse, you enjoy Balinese ambiance as you learn.
In the classes, you will be introduced to traditional exotic herbs and spices that come with healing properties. At this venue, you enjoy a Balinese feast that you can down with some energizing hibiscus tea. This session opens your eyes to a new world of culinary excellence. Students also go on market tours to select the best produce for the right dishes. There is so much to discover and you can be sure of having fun in the process.
2. PAON BALI COOKING CLASS
Paon has a restaurant on the main road in Ubud city. This cooking school is a very unique class because the more you learn about the food, the more you understand the people and culture therein. You have the option to take vegetarian classes or meat classes as desired. This is a cultural experience like no other. They have morning and afternoon classes that you should not miss. This is where you experience authentic cooking in a traditional Balinese village. There are many lessons about organic cooking and if you are health conscious, this is the best class for you. A typical class features a visit to the local market to get fresh ingredients for the cooking lesson. From fresh meats to herbs and spices, there is so much to uncover.
Then, you return to the Laplapan village setup where your teacher will guide you step by step. In the end, you create delicious food as you acquire vital skills that will always stay with you. For the best Bali cooking classes, Paon Bali is a place to check out when in Ubud.
3. LOBONG CULINARY EXPERIENCE
This one is near and dear to our hearts. We have it on very good information that Lobong is perhaps the most authentic and valuable cooking experiences in Ubud. We know the family that runs it and they are lovely people! Located in the tranquil mountain setting of north Ubud, this culinary experience is like no other. You explore the very best of Balinese food and learn the secrets therein. It is not just about learning how to cook, it is about experiencing the life of the Balinese people so that you can fully understand and appreciate it. This is one of the most popular cooking classes when you are looking for value. You are ushered to a Balinese compound to experience the flavorful Balinese cuisine. Your day starts by visiting the local market together with your host so that you can get all the wonderful ingredients needed. They range from vegetables to herbs and spices. In the end, you will have a better understanding of the Balinese culture and this makes your exploration in Ubud all the more worthwhile.
From crispy banana fritters to refreshing beverages, this culinary adventure is unforgettable. Keep in mind that you will go back to your villa with a free booklet containing menu, recipes, photos and even tips to cooking the best Balinese dishes. This wonderful illustration will ensure that you always have the perfect reference to create authentic Balinese meals like no other. This culinary experience is more of an adventure that is both tasteful and inspiring. There are many positive reviews about Lobong culinary experience; you should not miss out when in Ubud.
4.BALINESE FARM COOKING SCHOOL
This is one of the most exciting cooking schools in Bali. Located just 18 km north of Ubud, brace yourself for a day full of fun learning. The countryside will teach you about the true Balinese cooking methods. The village is run by locals who are extremely passionate about organic farming. When you enroll for a morning course, you will head straight to the local market to scout for the best ingredients. You can opt for a regular class or you can choose the vegan or vegetarian class. The rates are inclusive of pickups from Ubud and you will get a complimentary recipe book containing all the best local dishes. These classes also have excellent ratings from students and you will discover the secrets that make Balinese food extraordinary.
5. JAMBANGAN BALI COOKING CLASS
This is not just a cooking class but a Balinese cultural experience to explore the lifestyle of locals. The day starts with a pickup from your hotel or villa. You then head to the local market to get the freshest or herbs and spices. Cut meats and vegetables also feature; these are the ingredients you will use to make the food. On your way, you will have an opportunity to talk with local farmers even as you view their daily activities. You then head to Kelabang Moding village with excellent sights of temples and schools. You experience the authentic Balinese culture and way of life. You are then taken to a local home where you will be hosted for the lesson. Local chefs conduct the classes in English and once you have created your dish, you will have time to feast on the food at the garden. You get both vegetarian and non vegetarian lessons to your delight.
On the non vegetarian menu, some of the Balinese food to make include tempeh manis, chicken curry, gado gado, banana caramel and more. Vegetarian dishes include pepes tempeh, sate kebab, sweet potato caramel and many more. Learning how to make these iconic Balinese dishes is easy and convenient for the ultimate culinary retreat.
6. KETUT’S BALINESE COOKING CLASS
If you are looking for original Balinese cooking lessons, this is the ideal class. This class is run by Chef Ketut who has experience in Balinese cuisine. Chef Ketut is the cooking instructor here and you will enjoy the friendly approach he employs to teaching. The chef ensures that you have a memorable time as you learn. It is not just about watching food being made, it is about participating fully to understand why ingredients are used the way they are used. Formerly known as Payuk Bali Cooking Class, this school is known for excellence and students will not be disappointed.
After touring the local market to get some fresh produce, you will get some hands on experience with classes being conducted in English. Students in the Ubud area get free pickup. The menu is extensive and you can look forward to making vegetarian and non vegetarian foods. A few vegetarian food examples are sambal ulek, kare sayur, mie goreng and more. For non vegetarians, you can expect chicken soup or soup ayam, peanut sauce, Balinese spice paste and fried chicken; the list goes on and on. This culinary experience will impart excellent skills as desired.
7. RAW FOOD BALI COOKING COURSES
If you are into raw food, you will love Raw Food Bali cooking classes in Ubud. This is where you learn how to create raw, living and plant based foods. These classes give you gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free recipes to your liking. According to their website, whether you are a beginner or a raw vegan chef, it really doesn’t matter; learning is made easy and convenient for you. There are many classes to expect including introduction to raw food, raw food fundamentals, vegan cheese and cheesecake class; among others. Chef Mathias is the owner of Raw Food Bali. He is a Raw Food Chef as well as a Health Educator. As the centre of raw food in the region, Ubud is a great place to learn about raw vegan food.
You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the courses and classes. Students are given excellent alternatives to ensure that raw food is tasty and healthy. This is a unique experience where you get to master excellent skills for raw food. All ingredients are sourced locally to have the signature Balinese flavors in their purest form. Students who sign up for a vegan cheese masterclass can expect to learn about vegan aged cheese, vegan cream cheese, vegan blue cheese and vegan almond feta cheese. Classes here mainly run for 3 hours where you prepare six recipes in each class. There are many other excellent cooking classes in Ubud where you learn about the traditional cuisine.
Tips to choose the best cooking class in Ubud
As you have seen in the list above, there are so many classes available. Choosing the best one can be confusing though. The following tips will help you choose the ideal place.
- First, you want a cooking class that is known for teaching Balinese cuisines. Therefore, you want something established. Many master chefs establish their very own classes. The instructor must therefore be well qualified and experienced. Before choosing, make sure you get some prior information about the class and the chef or person behind the program.
- Another factor to consider is the setting. Many visitors like the traditional village setup when learning. This gives you that authentic feel as you witness real traditional dishes being made while adhering to cultural practices. Many classes take place in villages where you also sharpen your cultural awareness as you learn how Balinese people live. Other people may prefer an air conditioned modern kitchen; choose what works for you.
- A culinary class that puts together a full package that consists of pick ups and recipe book is ideal. You want utmost convenience when you are visiting such a class in Ubud. A good package will save you money as well. Cost of the class is something you may want to consider. Some cooking classes are more expensive than others. There are all budget options and to this effect, choose something that fits your pocket.
- Another consideration is vegan and raw food options. More people are becoming vegan while others are turning to raw food for healthy living. Attend a cooking class that speaks to your culinary needs. Some people out of curiosity may want to attend a raw food class. Being open minded about food in Ubud is the best way to go. Learn everything that you possibly can to understand Balinese culinary practices.
These classes are not just eye-opening; but they make for great fun as well with family and friends. They are part of the Ubud experience as you enjoy the Balinese landscape. See how people grow their food organically and look at the sustainable models available where food is concerned. Learn how to incorporate spices and herbs in a unique way to transform bland ingredients into a tasty dish. When you are visiting Bali, make sure to attend a class or two. You also learn about how to make traditional drinks that are both flavorful and healthy.