The island of Bali is in many ways distinct from the rest of Indonesia -- culturally, religiously and in its cuisine. On any trip to Bali, you’ll have ample opportunity to get a taste of the local flavors, but for a deeper experience -- one you can take home with you -- consider taking a cooking class in Bali.
In Ubud, Bali’s cultural center, a typical hands-on cooking class begins with a morning visit to a local village market, where you’ll pick out ingredients for the dishes you’ll prepare, and learn more about the various uses for ingredients unique to Bali or Indonesia. Back in the kitchen, you’ll don an apron and follow along with an expert instructor while preparing a five-course meal.
Dishes vary by the day, but you might learn how to prepare typical Balinese curries, fresh salads made from local ingredients, fragrant sambals and desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. At the end of each class, you’ll get to feast on your creations and take home the collection of recipes and know-how to recreate the meal for friends and family.
Balinese cooking classes aren’t limited to cooking schools in Ubud, either. For insight into how a typical local family prepares a meal, head out to the village of Gulingan, where a friendly local chef will guide you in preparing three dishes in a beautiful outdoor pavilion. After enjoying your meal, spend some time wandering through the village and witnessing daily life in rural Bali, or participate in some of the local pastimes, like flying a traditional kite or playing an instrument made from bamboo. It’s a great way to experience both the food and the culture of this tropical paradise.