Yum Yum & Yum! Where to cook up a storm or just learn to cook in paradise? These cooking schools in Bali offer everything from ingredient scouting or traditional Balinese food preparation and dishes. Whether you want to deepen your appreciation for a home made sambal or learn about enzymes and raw coconut sushi, the island of Bali will dish you up a cooking school to suit.
So when the realisation that pool lounging, soaking up the Bali sunshine or downing cocktails aren’t forever sports hits you like a devastating tonne of bricks, and you’re after more culture and substance in your life [and belly], pick up the girls and head out for a day of deliciousness at our choice of Bali’s top cooking schools.
Bali Asli, Gelumpang (East Bali)
Bali Asli is perfect for those wanting to craft an entire adventure around the cooking school experience. Located in the northeast village of Gelumpang, about 30 minutes from Candidasa or Amed, Bali Asli is a whole culinary experience. Join their “A day in the life of a Balinese lady” program, which will see you hustling the morning produce markets and preparing flower offerings. Hike to Lempuyang temple taking in pandan forests, vanilla vines, and native orchids. Or you could bravely assault the senses with their “A day in the life of a Balinese fisherman” experience. All of their programs come complete with certificates and recipes. Whichever experience you choose, experimenting with the likes of steamed young fern tips, bamboo and beetle nut husks will see you leaving the cooking school endlessly inspired and armed with a new appreciation for Balinese cuisine. Most programs will set you back just under IDR 1,000,000.
Bali Asli, Jalan Raya Gelumpang, Gelumpang Village, RT. Amlapura, Bali, p. +62 (0)828 9703 0098.
If organic gardens, sustainable farming and unprocessed ingredients tickle your taste buds, then Alila is the cooking school for you. Bystanders need not apply, with your boots and a rice hat this is an incredible opportunity to get hands on in Alila’s nearby garden. The Alila sea view resort has been awarded with silver certification for environmental practices, Earthcheck certification and ASEAN Green Hotel Awards, so you might as well team your cooking class up with a few nights sleep. You know, just to support their good work. Their half-day cooking class is IDR 1,050,000++ per person (a minimum of 2 people or a single supplement applies), inclusive of a Balinese lunch that you have cooked in a traditional Balinese pavilion.
Alila Manggis, Desa Buitan, Manggis, Karangasem, Bali 80871, p. +62 363 410 11, +62 363 410 15.
Casa Luna Cooking School, Ubud
We could leave this recommendation at one name: Janet De Neefe. A respected Bali icon, Janet has been living in Bali with her husband Ketut Suardana for over 30 years. She founded the world-famous Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, has released both a cookbook and a memoir, and owns many of Ubud’s hospitality hotspots – Casa Luna, Indus, Bar Luna, Honeymoon Bakery, Honeymoon Guesthouses, and The Emporium. The Casa Luna Cooking School is just one part of their very delicious pie. Listed as ‘amongst the world’s best cooking schools’ in The Australian newspaper, check out their weekly schedule including a twilight smoked duck class and a vegetarian food as medicine class.
Casa Luna Cooking School, Jalan Bisma, Ubud, Bali, p. +62 361 973 282.
Rooftop views of Berawa Beach – tick. Authentic Balinese chef – tick. Cheap price tag and delicious food – double tick. The cute lodge of Sedasa offers cooking lessons without the frills and fuss for those who don’t want the full weekend adventure and history of Balinese farming on the side. Ground a sambal, mince some fish into a banana leaf, and sign up for their champagne beach picnic when you’re finished.
Sedasa, Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa, Gg. Toya Kav.5, Canggu, Bali, p. +62 361 844 6655.
Raw Food Bali, Ubud
Let’s take a moment to think sympathetic thoughts for all those people who come to Bali and think avoiding sickness means avoiding raw foods. What a rainbow of culinary delights they are missing out on! Bali is in fact one of the greatest places on earth to tap into the incredible new world of raw foods, in which fresh salads are just a tiny part of the picture, overshadowed by delicious cakes, lasagnas, breads and more. Raw Food Bali offers 3-hour workshops amongst the jungles of Ubud, offering everything from a course in the fundamentals to a dedicated durian workshop. Classes start from US$80 per person, can be customized to suit the needs of your group, and include a nutritional lecture to boot.