Thai food has intricate flavours, but can be made by anyone
In Thai cuisine, the often bold flavours are anything but simple, but host Kallayanee Glover believes even the most novice culinary student can achieve the delicate balance of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty. Learn about her love for the land, its people, and its tantalizing cuisine in our interview with her talking about her series of Thai cooking classes she hosts at her home just outside Victoria in North Saanich.
You can book one of Kallayanee’s Thai cooking classes here.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a small village in Northern Thailand, without electricity or running water. It was a very different place in those days. Of course, there was no television and our cooking was all done outdoors—on charcoal and wood burners. The people were very friendly and made their own music and we would often dance to their music when we had things to celebrate, or on special occasions.
What brought you to Victoria?
My husband and I were living in Vancouver and a friend invited us to visit their home in North Saanich. We fell in love with the area and moved here to a beautiful acreage property on McTavish Road. Since then, we have only come to love it more. And I especially love it because I have four gardens on our property where I grow cilantro, green onions, green beans, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, yellow beans, garlic, shallots, kale, squash, Thai eggplants and Thai Red Chilies — which all inevitably end up in my dishes.
Tell us about your cooking class.
I have been teaching Thai cooking since 2006, when a friend invited me to host a class on Pender Island. We had a huge turn-out and I realized that I might be onto something really great that I truly loved. Since then, our classes have only grown bigger and bigger.
Tell us about your workshops.
Our classes last 2 and a half to 3 hours and I try to encourage as much hands-on preparation and cooking as possible, even when I host children, as we sometimes do. After all of the dishes have been prepared and cooked, we all sit down to enjoy the delicious food that we have made.
What do you love about teaching people about Thai Food?
I love to watch people enjoying and loving Thai food! And when they go home, they are not left abandoned. Students can call me at any time for help, if they are having problems. Also, I have made some wonderful friends through my cooking classes and it has been a great inspiration for me.
Who inspired you?
My grandmother was a very good cook in our Thai village. When I was five years old, I would watch her at the wok, or outside, where we had our charcoal burner. I loved the way she was able to cook her food without any recipe at all, going by her instincts, using only ingredients from her garden.
Whether it’s on a charcoal burner in a small town or if it’s on a fancy stove in the big city, your passion will bring out the best in your cooking. It certainly brought out the best in Kallayanee’s cooking–and those who have attended her workshops can attest to that!