Having been at Rickshaw for a year it was high time Marketing Manager, Cami faced her fear of long flights and ventured out into the world to experience a Rickshaw holiday firsthand. It was a tough choice but she finally settled on a two week trip around Bali, venturing from the highlands of Ubud to the beaches of Lovina. Here Cami tells us all about learning to cook Balinese-style in Candidasa on the east coast.
Fresh from the garden
Our venue for the morning’s cooking lesson is a charming restaurant, hidden behind a hue of vegetation and overlooking the ocean. Just stunning. On arrival we are handed a fresh glass of lemongrass tea, with enough kick to start a car!
Our teacher for the day, Ketut, arrives and leads us around this Garden of Eden, packed to the brim with herbs, spices, tropical fruits and some very unusual vegetables.
Magical natural rememdies
With enthusiasm and expert knowledge, handed down through generations, Ketut explains how each plant plays a key role in the everyday lives of the islanders. From natural concoctions to repel mosquitos or treat stomach problems to being a key ingredient in traditional Balinese dishes. I am mesmerised and inspired. Having recently taken an interest in growing veggies I’m lapping up everything Ketut tells us.
A kitchen on the beach!
Our cooking station for the day is a re-purposed long boat now fitted with a worktop, electricity, gas hob for the deep fat fryer and a bamboo steamer – and is ideally located right on the beach. My kitchen at home will never match up!
Ready, steady, cook
We have a variety of ingredients laid before us, a recipe card and a mix of cooking utensils, but the real pièce de résistance – our own personalised apron and chef’s head scarf! They have quite literally thought of everything to make this experience truly unique for us.
Five dishes, four hours
We prepare and cook five different Balinese dishes – vegetable spring rolls, BBQ tuna satay, coconut chicken in banana leaf, Gado Gado and deep fried banana fritters in a coconut batter. All courses are simply delicious and enjoyed at a table set on the sandy beach with the gently lapping waters at our feet. Bliss.
Taking new skills home
This is such a unique and engaging experience, and just one of the many highlights of our two week tour of Bali. I had never thought of learning to cook on holiday but now I’ll be looking out for lessons everywhere I go. What better than to bring home a new skill along with all the warm, fuzzy holiday memories.