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Kasma's Thai Cooking Class Policies & Enrollment
The Art of Thai Cooking

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Enroll – Afternoon Series

1. Read all policies (see below).

2. Cost is $300 for the Beginning or Intermediate 4-class series and $325 for the Advanced.

3. Check prerequisites & schedule.

4. Contact Kasma by email (best) or phone. We'll let you know if there's a space available.

5. We ask for full payment within 14-days of acceptance to hold a spot. We're not set up for credit cards and had bad experiences with PayPal; we accept personal checks and money orders.

6. Refunds (less a $35 processing fee) are issued if you notify us at least two weeks before the first class date. After that, nothing is refundable.

7. Make sure we have a current email and phone number for you.

Click photo to see larger image and caption.

Policies – Afternoon Series

Students tasting different coconut milks Cost: $300 for four-week, 4-session series beginning or intermediate series; $325 for an advanced series. Fee applies to a specific series only and is non-transferable.

Location and size: Held in a private kitchen near Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, CA (across the bay from San Francisco) with a limit of 12.

Class format is mostly hands-on (less so in the Beginning Series).

Hours:

  • Classes start at 1:30 p.m.
  • Classes end when clean-up is done, usually around 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. Some Advanced 8classes may run as late as 7:00 p.m.
  • Please be flexible in your planning so that you can stay until clean-up is complete.

Chopping chilliesAttendance: The series of four classes is intended for one participant. If you have to miss a class you may not send someone in your place.

Make-up Policy: If you miss a class, you may make it up at a later date on a "space available" basis for a $40.00 fee.

Spiciness: Many authentic Thai dishes are spicy/hot. Kasma tries to spice according to students' heat level but certain dishes can not be made without a modicum of spiciness (heat). If you are unable to eat reasonably spicy food (3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10) there will be dishes that you will not be able to eat.

Clean-up: Students are asked to clean-up as they go. All class members help during and after the class. Please be flexible in your planning so that you can stay until clean-up is complete. (See note on end time, above.)

Note – All students start at the beginning: All students taking a class from Kasma for the first time start with beginning. Kasma teaches in a certain way and she wants all students in the later classes to have the same base of information beginning with the Beginning Series. In those 4 classes she has tasting exercises on how to harmonize flavors to create Thai tastes that are the heart of the teaching. She’s unwilling to put students who have not had these exercises into Intermediate or Advanced classes. When we’ve made exceptions in the past, it has not worked out. Please do not ask us to make an exception.

Thai ingredients Special Dietary Needs: Kasma is unable to accommodate special dietary needs. Dishes are taught as written, without substitutions. Authentic Thai food can include shrimp, chicken, catfish, pork, beef and squid, to name a few. Fish sauce is used is nearly all the dishes. The cooking oil is peanut oil. For vegetarians.

Note on Food: Kasma believes strongly in the value of traditional and traditionally raised whole foods. We use organic vegetables, when possible as well as meat and poultry raised naturally without antibiotics. We recommend The Weston A. Price Foundation for nutritional information.

Why Are There No Vegetarian Classes?

two-fishKasma does not teach vegetarian classes – she teaches traditional, authentic Thai cooking. Thailand does not have much of a vegetarian tradition (aside from a very small Buddhist sect, far outside of mainstream Thai cuisine). The most important food in Thailand, after rice, is seafood. (See A Seafood Culture, from Kasma's book Dancing Shrimp.) There is an old Thai proverb that says: "To eat rice is to eat fish." Probably the most important single ingredient in Thai cooking is fish sauce.

If you are a vegetarian these classes may or may not be appropriate for you. If you eat fish and seafood of all kinds (particularly fin fish, shrimp and squid/cuttlefish) you should have no problem taking the classes, getting enough to eat and participating in many of the exercises in harmonizing flavors that lie at the heart of Kasma's teaching; there will be many dishes that you will not be able to eat or taste, however.

If you are a vegan or do not eat fish and shellfish, these classes are not for you as you would be unable to taste any of the food or participate in any of the tasting exercises. Kasma does not provide information about "substitutes" that would allow a vegan to adapt her recipes because, to her, there are no substitutes if you want authentic Thai flavors and authentic Thai food.

Green Curry Many people think that because Thailand is a Buddhist country that there is a strong vegetarian tradition. This is not the case. Just as among devout Tibetan Buddhists, Thai monks and religious lay Buddhists eat a wide variety of meats and seafoods. We invite you to read the Story of Dancing Shrimp to understand some of the Thai attitude toward eating living food. The following quote is from page 165 of Kasma's book It Rains Fishes:

Most indigenous cultures of the world hold a deep respect for the spirit of the animal that is slaughtered for food. They observe that humans do not exist on their own accord without the existence of everything else, and because all living things must eat to live, something must die in order that life can be sustained. Life and death are inextricably intertwined and inseparable. Death, as such, is never final as the spirit of the food that has sacrificed its life continues to live on in the body of another form of life. The slaughtering of animals for food, therefore, becomes a ritualistic act, done with much reverence and a depth of understanding of the interrelationship between life and death.

In midday meal ceremonies held in some Thai monasteries, the meal is prefaced with a prayer, inviting the spirits of the life forms that have been sacrificed for food, to live on and bless the people who partake of them. The monks pray to be worthy of the food, to become healthy and strong and to use the vitality gained for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Explore Classes Further

Beginning Photos: Class 1 |  Class 2 |  Class 3 |  Class 4
Beginning Blogs: Class 1 |  Class 2 |  Class 3 |  Class 4
Intermediate Blogs: Class 1 |  Class 2 |  Class 3  |  Class 4
Brochure in PDF format: Series
More Photos (includes Advanced classes): On Yelp |  On Google+

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