Vannee is like a Thai version of your grandmother, with a thick coat of lipstick and a warmth about her reserved for grandmas alone. Her husband, Mr. Meo (pronounced meow like a cat) is a retired chef and was to act as her assistant in the daunting task of teaching westerners how to grind a good curry paste and assemble a proper spring roll.
In the early morning they welcomed us into their air-conditioned minivan with the playboy license plate adorning the front. Already we knew this was going to be a fun day! We picked 6 dishes each from a menu she had brought along and headed to the local market to get some fresh ingredients. This is some of what we saw:
When we reached the Meo residence, we saw the cooking facilities were all outside. We started by each making our appropriate curry paste from scratch. Mine was a masaman curry and Jesse made a spicy red curry. Throughout the day we would continuously cook and taste-test eachothers dishes. Here are some of the dishes we made, from raw ingredients to finished product.
Every one of these dishes was soooo tasty and we can’t wait to practice our newfound skills on some friends and family!