The Best Balinese Cooking Class EVER!
Jon and I try to take a cooking class everywhere we go because we believe that there’s no better way to immerse ourselves in a culture than to get hands-on with fresh ingredients straight from the land. And my oh my, how fresh it was! Tresna Cooking School had its very own organic you-pick garden filled with homegrown spices and herbs, a traditional outdoor kitchen, a modern indoor kitchen, and a beautiful Airbnb overlooking the lush Balinese jungle (we’ll talk about the Airbnb in a bit… you’ll fall in LOVE with it). It’s ran by the husband-and-wife team, Frances and Adi. They are incredible, talented people who are dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences for their guests.
I’ve now been to Bali 3 times and the Tresna Cooking School still remains one of my most cherished memories on the island. By the way, this post is not sponsored at all. We loved cooking here SO much that I just had to share it with ya’ll! The next time you’re in Bali, make sure to book a class at Tresna. You will not be disappointed. Also, tell Frances that Anh from Girl & The Word recommended you and you’ll see her beam up. Turns out that she’s been following this blog for about a year prior to my booking her class! SUCH A SMALL WORLD!! Anyway, remember to ask her about her love story as well because it is MIND-BLOWING.
Okay, let’s start talking about the food. ^_^
Frances and Adi designed every aspect of this entire building, from the cement ceilings to the intricate lights. It’s hard to not obsess over this massive labor of love. The entire bottom floor is encased by glass, allowing you to have a widescreen view of the enormous backyard garden. The building is also encircled by a small koi pond, supporting native plants and its natural inhabitants. It’s really quite cinematic.
Most of the spices on this table were picked from their own backyard! Traditional Balinese cooking uses the same 18 spices to create a unique, complex, savory base that perfectly captures the culinary heart of the island.
Jon and I were greeted with this homemade coconut water mock mojito, and we immediately knew that this was going to be a legit culinary experience. SO. DAMN. GOOD. Just unbelievable. I think these were the ingredients:
Fresh coconut water (from the actual coconuts in their backyard)
Freshly picked mint leaves
Bit of grated ginger
Maybe some palm sugar (but I could be wrong.. the coconuts were pretty sweet!)
Just a corner of their massive garden. Here you can see lemongrass, ginger, banana trees and coconut trees. The man pictured is Adi! :) He’s a modern renaissance man.
Baby ginger plant, freshly picked from the garden!
Jon was holding up ginger plants while I was holding a green pepper pod!
Frances and Adi being sweet ^_^ seriously, ASK ABOUT THEIR LOVE STORY!
Our lovely group for the day!
A view of their modern indoor kitchen. Looks brand spankin’ new.
One class taught us THAT many recipes. More than worthwhile.
We literally minced all of those spices ourselves!
Our very own Jukut Mecantok in the making!
The finished product. Turned out to be one of our favorite dishes!
It’s not every day you get to see Jon in the kitchen ;)!
Grilling chicken satays in the outdoor kitchen!
Smelled and tasted heavenly. In fact, I can almost smell this dish through my laptop xD.
Toasting the fresh coconut meat on the gas stove… SO GOOD.
The finished dish called Lawar Kacang and Young Papaya. Adi has refined a North Bali recipe to make it his own, with hand-chopped chicken, finely minced long beans, grated young papaya and the Balinese spice paste we made as a group.
Another salivating chicken dish with lemongrass, shallot, chili and kaffir lime in homemade coconut oil dressing. It’s called Ayam Panggang Sambal Matah!
A shot of Frances sautéing the prawn heads in butter *droooools. This was the base of our delicious seafood curry (Kare Ikan Laut)!
The finished product ^____^ I’m usually not a fan of curry but this was AMAZING. Can’t get enough!
We also made some Tempe Manis!
A feast isn’t complete without a yummy dessert! Even though I pretty much ate enough for a small elephant at this point, I still downed 4 of these Coconut Pandan Crepes.
The unforgettable feast! Heed my word— I WILL be back!
This is the little wooden cottage I was talking about earlier. You can book this Airbnb and join their cooking class while you’re there! Again, none of this is sponsored. I’m just utterly in love with the experience that Frances and Adi curated… if you can’t tell x).
A mixture of traditional Balinese architecture and modern accents.
SO clean and comfortable.
Their bathroom is AMAZING. I want to LIVE here! If you want to book with them, here’s the link.
I hope you enjoyed this cooking experience as much as I did! Feel free to share it with your friends so everyone can see Tresna Bali Cooking School for themselves! ^_^