Edinburgh Fringe 2023
The best Thai red curry – the national dish of Thailand. Treat yourself to superior, extraordinary, delicious cuisine, made with free-range chicken. Join a spectacularly entertaining cookery workshop. Executive chef Rujira Herd will reveal the blending techniques she uses for her topflight clients. Learn how to make amazing dishes and the most effective way to create a traditional curry from 24 ingredients, a chilli fish sauce to accompany the dish and how to make curry paste. Exclusive to the Fringe only.
Now for a complete change of pace – how about watching executive chef Rujira Herd in her Thai cooking school shows. While not technically theatre, they are intricate masterclass and workshop presentations and involve an audience and interactivity. Also, participants have the wonderful opportunity to taste authentic Thai food at the end!
Chef Ru is offering several topics of Thai food to learn about at this year’s Fringe. At Venue 376, the Krua Thai Cookery School, Chef Ru welcomes her audience and presents them with their costume – a Thai chef hat and long apron. In the kitchen the audience of up to eight participants watch and participate as Chef Ru shows how to chop and blend lots of very specific ingredients to make red curry paste. I attended the two-hour workshop called Amazing Two Curries (Red Curry and Panang) Masterclass, others focus on: Bangkok Thai, Bangkok Thai Street Food, Green Curry with Coconut Rice, and Pad Thai and Thai Dumpling.
We are introduced to a myriad of ingredients, some new to us and we follow directions and chop each item very small. Lemon grass, lime leaves, fresh turmeric, and many more are then blended to a dry creamy consistency. It is fragrant and then we begin to cook in the huge pans seen in Thai restaurants. Following her directions, participants stir and add ingredients and every now and then fish sauce is added. At this specific workshop we will be making chicken curries and we learn how to cut and prepare the meat before adding it to the pan.
This is a very exciting interactive experience and a lovely break during the fringe! Chef Ru knows her stuff and has been a professional chef in many settings. She tells us that the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the presentation are paramount.
Now it is time to eat! For the last act Chef Ru presents the dishes we have made at the end with artistic garnishes, so they look really professional. During our tasting, Chef Ru tells fascinating stories and anecdotes or answers our questions about her career and about how her skills are applied in different ways. She tells us a fascinating story about when she was called upon to decipher examples of Thai food and to create recipes for authentic Thai food for an organisation. Chef Ru is personable and soft spoken and the combination of her expertise and how effectively she involves the audience, makes for a lovely interlude at the fringe.
The Thai food tasted out of this world and was the best I have ever tasted, so this experience will last beyond the fringe as I gather my sources for all or most of then items needed in the future. Our programme – a printed table of contents with recipe notes will certainly be one that I will keep and refer to often!