I love cooking. I love eating. The number one thing I wanted to do in Ubud, Bali was a cooking class.
I read every Tripadvisor review of every cooking class in Ubud, and then once we arrived I just abandoned all my previous thoughts and let our hotel book us into one. They chose extremely well, because we ended up with the highly rated Payuk Bali Cooking Class.
We were picked up by a driver early in the morning, and driven straight to Ubud Market. There we were met by a guide (Made) who showed a group of us around. He showed us a lot of the different fruits, vegetables and spices we’d be using and took us to areas of the market I probably wouldn’t have found myself.
After the tour we drove to the family compound where the class was held. First we were served a welcome drink and learned how to more traditional Balinese offerings. You’ll see these all over the streets in Bali, and they are usually hand made every morning.
Then we met the man who would keep us entertained for the next few hours. Ketut. We were introduced to him when he showed us how to make coconut oil. He demonstrated how to grate a coconut (“Not like your grater at home, that one is for cheeeeeese”) and told us that Balinese teenagers use coconut oil in their hair which he squeezes out at the end of the day. This was funnier when he said it.
The actual cooking area consisted of a huge kitchen set up with benches and multiple stove tops, and a big dining area where we would eat later. It was set on the edge of a stunning forested ravine. We were all given bottles of water to drink to make sure we didn’t dehydrate, but luckily it was a pretty cool day by Bali standards.
Ketut and Made got us all chopping, stirring and cooking. We were busy the whole time creating a wholes banquet of Balinese dishes, and they encouraged us to take photos and even took photos for us. They were hilarious, and I don’t know how they don’t have their own YouTube comedy cooking show.
We spent a few hours cooking, and then finally we got to sit down and eat our feast. The food was amazing, and they are also really flexible for people with dietary requirements.
If you do one group activity in Bali, it should be this cooking class.