When I think of Wildwood Valley in Yallingup, the first thing that springs to mind is the gorgeous views across the valley, and all the way to one of my favourite beaches, Smiths Beach. The Honeybee Cottage, the accommodation we had booked for the weekend, is self-contained and there really is not anything you could want for. I love a place that displays personal touches like flowers placed in the room from the garden and fresh milk in the fridge, it is like coming home. I have stayed at Wildwood many times before but really wanted to try one of their weekend cooking class and I was happy my partner Rob was keen to try it out.
The script, delicious recipes to take home
Action! Chef Sioban fixing a dish
Bring your favourite bottle of Champagne or Vino to taste with your cooking
- Barramundi Spring Rolls with Red Nam Jim
- Coconut Soup of Chicken and Oyster Mushrooms
- Seared Salmon with Green Papaya Salad and Red Nam Jim
- Pad Thai
- Yellow Curry of Chicken and Pumpkin with Cucumber Relish
- Black Sticky Rice with Natural Yoghurt and Pineapple
Hands-on cooking class with a lot of learning experiences
The cooking class itself is very informal, with people gathered on stools in the chef-style kitchen, and at all times it is hands-on. Everyone gets a turn at trying something. It is amazing what I could learn at Mad About Food Cooking School, there were many things like: the quickest way to deseed a chilli, using a mortar and pestle, distinguishing flavours of sweet, salty, and sour, the best way to clean coriander leaves, complementing flavours in a dish, how to use a knife correctly, and of course the list goes on and on.
Hands in the bowl, gloves set, aprons tied
Thai cooking feast in just a few hours
With the wok alight with flames, questions being fired off at Sioban and the kitchen smelling like an Asian food market our Authentic Thai Banquet was well underway. The barramundi spring rolls were served mid-way through the cooking class and were just delicious. Rob and I were salivating at the thought of feasting on all this for lunch. When we started it seemed like an impossible task to cook six flavoursome dishes but by 2 p.m. we were back where we started – eating! I had never made a curry before that weekend but I have to say the Yellow Curry of Chicken and Pumpkin with Cucumber Relish was my favourite dish.
Snacking on delicious barramundi spring rolls during class
Relaxing day in the beach and a wonderful home around nature
It was a great day and a lot of fun meeting new people, learning tricks of the trade, and tasting wonderful food. Like magic, we need not clean afterwards, so we took off our aprons and headed to Smith’s for a lovely afternoon sand-in-toes stroll along the beach. At night we go back to rest at Honeybee Cottage. The beds are super comfy and with a sheep paddock at your back door you can count on a good night’s sleep and a soothing awakening to the many beautiful birds that take rest here. Breakfast at Wildwood is a treat too, good coffee and Carlo’s famous scrambled eggs (apparently the trick is to add a 1/3 cup of cream).
A special day meeting new friends and cooking together
Mad About Food Cooking School
Carlo and Sioban are classic foodies, they love their food – preparing it, cooking it, serving it, and eating it! Mad About Food Cooking School at Wildwood Valley is great for men and women, and you get to take home with you a recipe book and a chef’s quality apron. We recently had a dinner party for eight and challenged ourselves with recreating Wildwood’s Thai Banquet; our guests were totally in awe. And the chicken yellow curry is now a favourite in our home.
Our favorite Thai dish, yellow chicken curry
Teresa Spiniello went to Mad About Food Cooking School at Wildwood Valley with her partner Rob in September 2012. She wrote this article and contributed pictures personally for BookCulinaryVacations.com.
Have you been to Wildwood Valley weekend cooking school? Share with us your own personal stories and pictures, we'd love to publish them here. Do send your greetings by adding your comments below.