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Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon Kaen to hold Culinary Master-Class during Isaan Food Festival

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Monday, 18 February 2008

To coincide with the inaugural Isaan Food Festival to be held in Khon Kaen this March, the Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon Kaen is offering a culinary master-class weekend (7-9 March) from just THB 12,150 including taxes and service charges for two nights accommodation and the weekend Master Class for two people. The price also includes coffee breaks, lunch for two people and breakfast each day.

A special gourmand dinner has been organised for 8 March at the hotels Vietnamese Restaurant priced at THB 1400 for two inclusive.

Workshops revolving around the Festival include one aptly named - Improbably Edible Cuisine which features the Isaan custom of eating fried locust and lizard, and stir fried silk worm - not to mention the Isaan / Lao specialty, and a must try, ant egg soup.

The Isaan Food Festival will also feature visiting chefs, guest lecturers, and the world's largest woven sticky rice basket, and celebrates Northeast Thailand's fabled cooking. Khon Kaen will be pulsing with activities planned from early in the morning til late at night for the ten days of the Festival.

But theres more to the festival - theres workshops galore featuring top gastronomic names conducting the activities -

These include:

Vatch Bhumitchitr, London restaurateur and author of six best-selling Thai cookbooks in English;
Somsak Wongdechanand, editor-in-chief- of Thailand's leading food magazine Gourmet & Cuisine heads a workshop on Thai curries;
Philip Cornwel Smith, author of the everyday culture book Very Thai will speak on contemporary Isaan trends in Bangkok;
Morrison Polkinghorne, Australian based textile expert; 
Robert Carmack Australian based author of Thai and Vietnamese cookbooks and Fondue (Periplus), (one co-written by Didier Corlu of Sofitel Hanoi fame)
Pramol Pimsen local Isaan specialist and author;
Dr. Chop Deesuankoke retired Khon Kaen university lecturer. 

Plus there will be regional food producers from sausage makers to fish sauce brewers, on hand to give an introduction to their foodstuffs.

Isaans Culture and Cuisine

Bordered by Laos to the East and Cambodia to its south, Thailand's remote northeast Isaan region is renowned for some of the kingdom's tastiest cooking. Yet its a style less familiar to foreigners. Unlike the coconut cream curries of tropical and coastal districts, dishes here largely rely on local ingredients from an arid region, such as delicious gai yang grilled chicken, som tom green papaya salad, fiery jaeow chilli jams, and sticky or glutinous rice. Not only that, the area hosts the finest examples of ancient Khmer temples to be seen outside of Cambodia, and the country's most intricate silk weaving.

Isaan is alive with the flavours of neighbouring Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and the region's cuisine is some of the best on offer in the Thai kingdom. Late night Bangkok revellers have long clamoured to Isaan hawker stalls for snacks in the capital city, and several upmarket Lao and Isaan restaurants now cater to the city's affluent, as well.

Isaan's commercial capital city of Khon Kaen lies some 450 km from Bangkok, and today is a major regional development centre and university city of 200,000. The city is served by three flights daily from Don Mueang (DMK) airport in Bangkok, plus regular bus service and several trains daily. Flights take less than an hour, road and rail from 4 to 8 hours.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Thailand, Khon Kaen, Gourmet, Sofitel

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