3 Ways to Support Courageous Kitchen This Holiday!

3 Ways to Support Courageous Kitchen This Holiday!

special pre-sale

courageous Aprons

Our supporters can finally sport the Courageous Kitchen logo in their own kitchen!

3 ways to give back!

01

Pre-Order Aprons

Be the first to get your hands on a Courageous Kitchen apron!

02

Download Recipes

Download 5 of our most popular recipes and help us fund our first cookbook. 

03

Take A Cooking Class

Book an authentic cooking class for you and your friends!

our top food experiences

Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok

Try Sri Lankan Cooking in Trincomalee

Thai Cooking Demo and Dinner in San Diego

Bangkok Street Food Tour

Courageous recipes 2019

Download 5 of our most popular recipes, including pad thai and mango and sticky rice! When you make a donation with your download, it will help us fund a larger cookbook of 20+ Thai recipes!

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5 star Reviews

“This was a really fun experience for our whole family. Also wonderful to know our tourism dollars we’re helping local people. Highly recommended."

Elijah

Guest, October 2018

"Amazing cooking class. Lily, Nisha and Dwight were wonderful. I enjoyed the class immensely, and what a great organization!"

Liting

Guest, November 2019

"If you are in Bangkok you MUST visit Courageous Kitchen! Dwight and everyone gave us a top notch cooking experience. The food is SO good and you feel like you’re at home with family and friends while you’re there. I will return every chance that I get."

James

Guest, October 2018

Micro-Giving This Holiday with Amazon Smile

Don’t forget if you’re shopping with Amazon, this holiday you can select Courageous Kitchen as your charity of choice with Amazon Smile.

As your designated charity Amazon donates a small fraction of the proceeds of each sale back to our charity!

recent updates

Kicking off Giving Season with a Special Thai Cooking Class!

Kicking off Giving Season with a Special Thai Cooking Class!

Giving season is upon us, and just a day after Thanksgiving we were happy to host our first class in partnership with Holland America. 

Our inaugural Thai cooking class with Holland America saw guests getting hands on in the Courageous Kitchen. 

This past Friday, we hosted our first guests from Holland America Cruise Lines. The company offers trips all over the world, and on their Asian itineraries often visit Thailand, docking at the nearby Laem Chabang port. Once here, guests have all sorts of options for day trips to explore Bangkok and the surrounding provinces. Recently, Holland America has connected with Courageous Kitchen to offer guests a chance to experience a Thai cooking class, while simultaneously giving back to people in need. 

The idea to bring travelers to the class began after staff in the company read an interview of Courageous Kitchen founder, Dwight, on Food & Wine. In the interview Dwight talks both about his favorite places to eat in Bangkok, and his charitable work to help the urban poor. 

The first group to visit was made of Americans and Canadians, all friendly and eager to hear more about the work of the charity. While we got to know each other, they learned to make four Thai dishes, including our famous pad Thai recipe and the delicious, but lesser known wing bean salad. 

The day’s menu included the lesser well known Thai wing bean salad. The fresh green wing bean sprinkled with fiery red chili, resembled a Christmas tree.
On top of the regular cost of the class, Holland America included a donation to our charity for each guest attending.

Since Courageous Kitchen began offering Thai cooking classes and street food tours in 2017, we have hosted more than 600 guests. While we still have more growing to do, we’re pausing this week to express our gratitude to our past guests in helping us improve the lives of those in need. Of course a special thanks goes to Holland America for seeking to connect with more sustainable tour operators, and for kicking off the giving season by sending us a great group of guests! 

Author: Dwight

Dwight is the director of Courageous Kitchen, and loves sharing his passion for food with new people.

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Celebrating 100+ Reviews for our Bangkok Cooking Class!

Celebrating 100+ Reviews for our Bangkok Cooking Class!

We love social validation when we’re shopping. This goes for everything from taking a friend shopping when you’re feeling indecisive, to asking a friend their opinion on the charity you’re choosing to support. That’s why it’s a huge accomplishment that our Courageous Kitchen cooking class for tourists has surpassed 100 reviews on Airbnb Experiences. This is no easy accomplishment, and we’re proud to have garnered so many positives feedback in less than a year on the platform.

Book a Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok!

What is an Airbnb Social Impact Experience?

This past January we celebrated a year since the launch of our social enterprise offering cooking classes to travelers visiting Bangkok. As a new business, we really struggled during the first year to get new customers. Fortunately, we did have some success as one of the early experiences on the Airbnb marketplace called Airbnb Experiences. Most people know the company as an affordable way to find lodging when traveling, but they have recently begun offering other activities to travelers looking for things to do in new cities, including some with a significant social impact.

“Wonderful experience!”

Without a doubt it can be hard to choose a cooking class in Bangkok. There are so many classes at different price levels and there are a variety of other online markets as well. This means when customers find our class highly recommended by Airbnb’s customers, they can expect our class is different from the run of the mill cooking classes offered by tour companies. In addition, as a recognized 501c3 in good standing, Airbnb collects no commission on the bookings made on their site. That means more money for buying quality ingredients, equipment, and funding our outreach in Bangkok!

Growing Pains and Negative Reviews

We’ve been teaching children in the marginalized community we serve to thrive in kitchen spaces for 5 years now. However, when we started this fun activity to help pump nutrition into the community, we didn’t expect it to prepare us to later host professional classes. In fact, teaching 30 children to cook at once would seem a lot more intimidating to most people, compared with the stress of teaching a small group of foreigners. However, we’ve had to learn other aspects of running the business beyond the teaching the hard way. For example, pricing can have a big impact on experience. If we’re priced too low, people book in hurry, classes are more crowded, and guests may arrive not knowing much about our organization. On the contrary, if the pricing is too high, we have fewer customers and their expectations for the cooking class are unrealistic. 

Everyone who steps into our kitchen is different and we want to have an experience all can enjoy. This presents a unique challenge, however, that is especially difficult when managing different languages and personalities in a group. So while our reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, we have also had negative reviews impact our bookings. When customers are unhappy, we discuss their feedback as a team and consider how to improve the experience in the future. Here are common reasons people don’t enjoy the class, that we’re working to mitigate or have already solved:

  • Customer doesn’t know the class is charity run
  • Customer is uncomfortable because of heat, chairs, chili, amount of standing, etc…
  • Customer does not speak strong English

The most common problem our team has encountered when hosting guests from around the world has been around managing expectations. Since many customers book in a hurry, they often don’t read all of the info about the class. This means customers can arrive expecting to be cooking in a professional kitchen, or in today’s tense political climate, may not know until arriving they have booked a class in support of refugees — often a divisive political issue. All of these issues are exacerbated when customers don’t speak much English or Thai. We won’t be able to solve all of these problems instantly, but we strive to produce a high quality class each session, and want to be transparent about the challenges. 

How You Can Help

As people learn about opportunities with Airbnb, it becomes more competitive. We have to work harder at generating more direct bookings, instead of being overly dependent on Airbnb or another third party. We always need help sharing our cooking class with friends visiting Bangkok, and need continued support for the educational support we offer those in need. Finally, if you’ve attended a class, consider leaving a review on our growing Tripadvisor profile as well!

Thank you for following our project, and until the next update stay courageous!