This past weekend we had a very special activity for our junior chefs, our Courageous kids aged 11-14. This is a special age group because they have been watching their older brothers and sisters in the kitchen for several years now and helping in small ways. In 2018 however, we’re pivoting to focus on this age group more, and really working on building their skills and confidence.
This past weekend we jumped into Thailand’s most famous flower market, the Pak Khlong Market. In the Yodpiman building there, we met friends at a company called Expique who run several different types of cooking classes known as The Market Experience. The fun Thai food they create is not unlike what we cook in a typical Saturday in the Courageous Kitchen, but by pulling these students away, we gave them an opportunity to shine without pressure from their older brothers and sisters. In addition to this freedom, they also had a chance to explore the market, learning about it’s rich history and of course, having a plenty of small treats along the way.
After the students toured the market, the washed up and got ready to get their hands messy in the kitchen. The Expique staff was great with the students, watching carefully as they used adult sized knives, and helping the group prepare their ingredients for three dishes with precision. The excitement was palatable as the students rushed to answer the questions from our hosts, and experienced some new methods of preparing their minced pork larb, green curry with chicken, and shrimp pad thai.
At the end of the class, the students were beyond thankful for the opportunity. They went around the room (not without some prodding), sharing what they enjoyed about they class and expressing their gratitude to Simon, Alyssa, and the whole team of Thai teachers.
The day was a special one as the group was not without it’s kids who have persisted through extraordinary challenges in their lives. One young boy with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in his knee had so much fun, he didn’t notice how long he had been standing. Another girl, who’s family had spent time in immigration, loved the outing and voted with a few of her friends to go swimming during the next school holiday. These are just a few stories of triumph over adversity the kids in the group, and seeing how far they’ve come, made us anxious to see what mountains they will move next!
Please enjoy the photos, you can find more on our Courageous Kitchen facebook page. If you haven’t considered sponsoring a student or family, we’d love to have your support in 2018. Please visit our donation page and join our small but awesome list of supporters!
All photos courtesy of Alisa Suwanrumpha.
Just a quick message to all of our customers stateside. Because of the impact of the recent wildfires, we have been forced to reschedule this month’s classes. Our team is safe, but located in an area not far from where people have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Thank you for your patience as we’ve had to reschedule our cooking classes for the month. We will return to our regular schedule in the new year and pray you all a swift recovery.
Note: If you missed the announcement that we had launched our cooking classes in San Diego, we’d gladly welcome you to try our classes in 2018. You can even book the class on airbnb!
As Courageous Kitchen turns two years old, we want to wish old friends and supports well as we say a final goodbye to the In Search of Sanuk website. When we registered Courageous Kitchen Inc. in late 2015 as a 501c3, we ceased to operate under the ‘sanuk’ moniker. However there may be still many volunteers who joined our activities such as teaching in poor communities in Bangkok, or supporters who joined our early rooftop parties and Big Bite food festivals that lost contact with us. We’re grateful to all of you for helping us reach this point. We hope if you’re reading this message you’ll have a chance to catch up with us and see all the great work we’re continuing to do in Bangkok!
Against the backdrop of palm trees on Kamala Beach in Phuket, Thailand and the dazzling cityscape of Bangkok, corporate dynamo turned yoga teacher and Yellow Mat Yoga Founder, Siha Collins encourages her students to join her on a personal journey of self healing and manifestation. Alongside Courageous Kitchen’s Deputy Director and resident Thailand guru, Christy Innouvong, they’ve designed a perfectly packed itinerary of health, service, food, and fun. Together they invite you to join them on a spiritual and cultural awakening where you’ll be able to discover parts of the world that are widely untouched. Their goal is for you to escape the strains of everyday life and take the time to focus on yourself, re-center your thoughts, and restore your peace.
‘The word ‘seva’ means the art of selfless service’
Their philosophy for a well-balanced lifestyle, paired with love of service marries perfectly in their yearning for creating global citizens and living a life of purpose. In Hindu, the word ‘seva’ means the art of selfless service, whether that is transferred through fitness, food, or travel, we want to inspire you to live your best life by fulfilling your deepest passions. In addition to volunteering with a local charity, we’ll take a traditional Thai cooking class, have dinner with Bangkok’s hottest influencers, enjoy a day at the spa, and wake up every morning to sun salutations and meditation.
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[product_hero layout=”center” full_height=”0″ background_size=”auto” product_id=”1124″ heading_text=”Reserve Your Spot Today!” description_text=”Against the backdrop of palm trees of Kamala Beach in Phuket, Thailand, join Siha Collins, founder of Yellow Mat Yoga and Christy Innouvong, Director of Programming from Courageous Kitchen for a curated 10-day exploration of wellness, service, food and fun”]
- 9 nights accommodation at luxury resort and hotels
- Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner unless otherwise indicated
- One Hour traditional Thai Massage at Upscale Spa
- Roundtrip Airfare to Phuket + in-country private transfers during group activities
- Workshops, Guest Speakers, Photographers, Daily Excursions
- Daily Yoga + Meditation and/or Fitness Class
- Gym, Pool, and Beach at your leisure
- Street Food Tour + Thai Cooking Class
- Volunteering with a local charity, Courageous Kitchen
- Two Boat Trips: Sunset Dinner Cruise + Daytime Island Hopping
- Local Guides + Translators
- On-Site Medical Clinic (at resort location)
- Sightseeing to local temples and markets
- Rooftop Cocktails + Dancing
- Swag Bag w/t-shirt, map, snacks
- One-on-One Coaching from Health + Wellness experts
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2018 Be Courageous Retreat Price:
Double Room Pricing Starts at $3695
Single Room Pricing Starts at $3995
Only $500 deposit to secure your spot.
VIP Packages Available Including:
Deluxe Spa Packages
Private Life Coaching
Muay Thai Boxing Classes
Traditional Sak Yant Tattoo
Elephant Sanctuary Visit
Medical and Travel Insurance
The retreat price does not include airfare to Thailand, tips, luggage fees, and medical or travel insurance. Participants must be 18 years old with valid passport at time of travel. While there will be vegetarian options at every meal, we cannot guarantee 100% vegan meals at this time.
Check out the photos from a recent class where Courageous Kitchen welcomed our largest group yet!
We were contacted by the Deakin University faculty for the Food and Nutrition Sciences Department. The teachers were organizing a study tour to Thailand and looking for a special cooking class for thirty people. Although we don’t normally host large cooking classes, the group was really open to learning more about the community we’re supporting.
So instead of our usual cooking class setting the Deakin students arrived in the community we’re helping in Bangkok, ready to get messy cooking with our students. We divided the young adults from Australia into 5 groups, pairing each of them with one or two youth from the community. The youth led each group in making several recipes such a tom kha soup, pad thai with shrimp, and even a handmade sticky rice dumpling dessert!
Big thanks to the Deakin University students and faculty for being so willing and flexible for our first large group cooking class. Not only was this a great experience for our community, but the faculty from the university committed early to helping us buy better equipment for our ongoing classes. We’re more than grateful and hope to welcome more groups for similar experiences in the future!
We’re happy to share some photos with you from a recent Courageous Kitchen activity. A few of our students were invited to setup a fruit smoothie bar in the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) headquarters in downtown Bangkok. The students woke up early and traveled more than an hour to get to the hotel. There the staff welcomed us into their office, where they planned to have a special lunch to kickoff the IHG Foundation Week, which aims to promote charities in the region and get their staff around the world thinking about giving back.
For our students, many of whom have never eaten in a restaurant or stayed in a hotel, this was a special experience. The staff welcomed them with new t-shirts, notebooks, and a quick briefing on the day’s plans. They were tasked with setting up a smoothie bar in the office’s break room area overlooking Bangkok. They quickly organized themselves into two stations, with specific tasks like collecting money, running the blenders, or asking their “customers” which fruit they preferred to have in their drinks.
The smoothie bar was a fun challenge for the students and since everyone who had a smoothie gave a small donation, they also raised some funds too. However, that wasn’t all IHG had planned for them. Led by two of the staff, Ben and Elena, the students then filed in to travel back to the hotel lobby where someone special was waiting. When the group exited the elevators into the grand lobby, they were met by Executive Chef Rolando. Chef Rolando is in charge of all of the kitchen for both the Intercontinental Hotel and next door sister hotel, Holiday Inn.
After a quick introduction, we followed the chef first into the room service area of the kitchen. The look behind the scenes wowed the students and the size of the production was massive. From room service we entered another area responsible for catering for up to 1000 or more guests at one time. To put this in context, Chef Rolando walked the students into one of the behemoth banquet rooms and talked about the giant numbers of staff and things we take for granted like eggs that the hotel uses in one day.
From the chocolate statues in the buffet line, to breathtaking views on the 37th floor, and the exclusive areas of their fine dining restaurants, the students loved their kitchen tour. In the end we visited about 5 kitchens, looking both in the dining area and behind the scenes. The experience was enthralling for our students and we believed will help them to imagine a grand future for themselves in the kitchen or doing food related services.
Thank you to everyone who supports us, allowing us to do inspirational activities like this one. A special thank you to Ben, Elena, and Bangkok’s IHG office.
If you’re new to Courageous Kitchen, you can help by giving a small monthly donation so we can continue to serve youth in Bangkok and give them them skills and inspiration to last a lifetime!
All photos courtesy of volunteer photographer Kelly Miller.