Friday night I attended a cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education (https://web.iceculinary.com/icereg/details.asp?cid=ESSENTHA&DT=) down on 23rd Street.
The menu for the evening "Essentials of Thai Cooking" included: Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup; Summer Rolls; Chicken Satay; Green Papaya Salad; Green Thai Curry with Chicken; Prawns with Coriander Leaves and Chili; Pad Thai; Steamed Fish with a Tamarind Sauce; Sticky Rice with Mango; and Tapioca Pudding with Coconut.
Loren Bianco was the chef, the very same one who instructed my Thanksgiving workshop last fall but my how he has changed...he lost close to 80 lbs! and looks great. I had hoped to work on the Green Papaya Salad (one of my favorite dishes) but it was paired with Pad Thai, a very popular item and therefore filled up pretty quickly. My team instead worked on the Hot & Sour Prawn soup. I am amazed by how much pepper (and a ll the variations of pepper) is used in most of the recipes.
The biggest surprise was the tapioca pudding...we made it from scratch using Tapioca Pearls (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapioca). While it was cooking it reminded me of biology class and I couldn't imagine eating it but looks can be deceiving, it was one of the better tasting items on the menu.
A couple on my cooking team looked very familiar, and as it turns out we--Kathy, a pilates instructor & husband Scott and me have mutual friends in the Beckles family. It's such a small world, isn't it?