Paon cooking class is probably the best $26 I spent in Ubud or ever.
At 7:30 am I spontaneously call Paon Cooking. Puspa answered, told me to join the the morning class and that I will be picked up at 8:25 am from my home-stay (they offer free pick up and drop off if you’re in Ubud area).
At 8:25 am sharp I am greeted by Made, the driver. He makes one quick stop nearby to pick up 5 other women joining the class.
The First stop on the tour is Ubud Art Market to learn about ingredients, produce, and spices used in Balinese recipes. For about 45 minutes at the market I sampled several fruits for the first time including mangosteen and rambuton.
Before heading into the home for the cooking class Made pulls off the side off the road to show us the rice fields, and give us more educational info about the food and village life.
Upon arrival we are greeted with fresh limeade, which I will dream about after leaving here. Fresh brewed lemon grass tea with organic honey and raw sugar was also given to us as another beverage option. Of course, I tried both. We relaxed and got to know the staff for while we waited for everyone to arrive.
The cooking class took place outside in gorgeous patio type kitchen with the rice fields for a backdrop. There was cubbies in view to store your bags. Cute aprons were provided and there was 2 bathrooms with 2 sinks right by us to wash our hands. The staff was very considerate of everyone’s’ needs by including a vegetarian version of the class, asking about allergies, and other common concerns. More than once they made it clear that no tap water is used as they don’t want anyone getting BB-Bali Belly.
Class started at 10:30 am and ended around 2 pm. You will be given a HUGE menu of Balinese dishes that you will be making including chicken satay, gado-gado, chicken curry, mushroom soup, fried tempeh, and more! (recipe copies will be given for you to take home) The mushroom soup we made was an afternoon snack before making all the other dishes. All ingredients and vegetables were farm fresh and vibrant in color.The whole class was incredibly organized. Not once did I feel rushed or bored at any point.
Paon cooking class was definitely the highlight of my trip to Ubud, Bali! The only downside is that all other Balinese food you try will be mediocre in comparison.
Anyone who wants an authentic, fun, experience with Balinese cuisine this is the place to go. You will make friends, contribute to village life, and learn more about the importance of fresh organic foods in our daily lives. Book it! You won’t regret it!
*class cost IDR 350,000 or $26 USD