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Testimonials from Kasma's Thai Cooking Class Students
The Art of Thai Cooking

"I've taken cooking courses from the Beijing Culinary Academy to the Cordon Bleu in London . . . nothing comes close to the learning experience of your classes!"
– Joanne

After 34+ years of teaching Thai Cooking, Kasma has officially retired as of June 2020. Her legacy remains in the thousands of students that have learned to cook Thai food in her classes. These testimonials remain as a record of some of the people whose lives she affected.

Students in Class Once you've helped make and eaten the dishes in her first beginner's class – usually a green curry, a masaman curry, stir-fried hot and sour vegetables, and bananas in coconut milk – you'll be tempted to beg Kasma Loha-Unchit, of Kasma's Cooking Classes, to allow you to come to her house once a week for the rest of your life. There just isn't a Thai restaurant in the Bay Area that serves food of such authenticity, complexity, and balance. The author of Julia Child [IACP] Award-winning It Rains Fishes, Kasma teaches beginning, intermediate, and advanced Thai cooking classes in her Oakland home, gently ushering you from prep chores toward full responsibility for such dishes as spicy mussel salad, Panaeng beef curry, mee krob, and green papaya salad. She tutors you in shopping (with field trips), techniques, philosophy, and, above all, tasting.

Saveur Magazine – The 2010 Top 100 List

Kasma was chosen for the Saveur 2010 Top 100 list after a submission by one of her students, Donna Yee. It was published in Saveur issue #126 and posted online on December 22, 2009. The post mentions that Kasma stresses how to make authentic Thai food and that she gives her students the knowledge to cook and eat like a Thai. You can read the listing on their website.

Here's the rest of the 2010 Saveur 100 List (Kasma's at #81).

Diablo Magazine Article

"She teaches as a guest chef at culinary institutions around the Bay Area, but I recommend learning from her in her own home. Students jockey for space at earth-toned tile countertops or work elbow to elbow around a folding table covered with a vinyl tablecloth, all of which makes the class feel like a laid-back dinner party at a graduate student's flat."

Student Series Testimonials

Students in classI have taken several weekly (1 x per week for 4 weeks) and 1 weeklong intensive. I am actually taking my second week long intensive this July... and I can't wait!

I have taken a bunch of cooking classes in the past (culinary institute, JCC classes) and, Kasma's class is by far the best cooking class for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Kasma is a warm and, wonderful story teller. She teaches you about food, Thai culture, health and many other things. You get a blend of historical, nutrition, and anecdotal information along with immense knowledge of food, and cooking combined with lots of hands on learning.

But, the best part (besides Kasma) is the food! You will never eat as well in your life (unless you go to Thailand on one of Kasma's trips), and learn to make such a variety of Delicious items. You learn to make so many dishes and, all of them are delicious. You eat ALL day long. Just when you think you've reached your limit there is another dish to sample.

   – Louisa Philipp, San Francisco. CA.

Students in classI just thought I would drop you a note to tell you that I have moved to Thailand after retiring. I am cooking Thai food here for some Thai friends and they are amazed at the skills I learned from you. One friend accused me of buying at a restaurant when I made neung ghung.

– Richard, Advanced student, Pattaya, Thailand (formerly Vallejo, CA)

Kasma: Thanks so much for all the classes over the years. All the great recipes, and more importantly the love of cooking Thai, have greatly enhanced my life. I had a Thai dinner for friends last weekend (as I do every few months), and everyone agreed it was the best Thai food they'd ever had, lots of companionable eating, talking and appreciating the food. All thanks to your great teaching skills (and recipes)!

– Diane, Advanced student, Berkeley, CA

Students eatThanks so much for a such wonderful experience! It's obvious that offering meticulously organized cooking classes in your home is not a just business for you, it's a personal mission. Besides providing amazing food and great company, you teach people to think carefully about the food that they put into their mouths. You also provide special insights into the beautiful, peaceful Thai culture. Your class fees are very reasonable for the amount of thought and preparation that goes into each class. It's obvious that you are driven from the heart; so rare to find in the United States.

   – Peggy, Bay Area Intermediate Student

Just want to say thank you for your wonderful classes in Thai cooking. You have given me the confidence in cooking. Sure I have seen other Thai people cook but I always shy away. Now I am more interested and ask them what they are doing, what they use, etc. Your food is the best. You don't have to go to Thai restaurants to eat, you have the best Thai food in your kitchen!

– Peter Ganthavorn, a Thai residing in San Francisco, CA

Students workAfter the first couple classes your friends who eat at your house will tell you to open a Thai restaurant.

– Ed Adams, Berkeley

By the way, my wife told me that she really loved Kasma's class. And I can confirm that she really did learn some wonderful skills – she has already made about six of the dishes she learned in the class (entrees and desserts) and every one was fantastic! I think this is the best present I ever gave her since I get to enjoy it, too.

– Steve, in Albany, who gave his wife the beginning Series as a present.

I take cooking classes regularly, but yours are far and away the best I've ever had, also the most fun and warm-spirited, and have certainly had the biggest effect on the food I serve at home – friends are now disappointed if I invite them for dinner and I'm not cooking Thai! And I ordered haw mok in a Thai restaurant a few weeks ago – one that often wins the Best of the Bay award – and they couldn't hold a candle to the haw mok we learned in your class. I find I'm completely spoiled for Thai restaurants now, but since I can cook so well at home, I don't mind at all!

– Cyd Harrel, San Francisco

A student cooksKasma Loha-unchit Clark's classes at Kasma's Cooking School are intimate and joyful. She not only provides instructions on how to prepare rich, complex, varied, and unfathomably exotic Thai dishes, but enables her students to understand the dynamics of the Thai palate. She trains her students to adjust the various (and often strange)flavors of Thai cuisine to emphasize hidden characteristics in a dish, and gives them guidelines in which to explore their own creativity. One of the most intimidating aspects of Thai cuisine is the often unusual and unfamiliar array of ingredients one must utilize. Kasma's classes include a field trip t."o Oakland's Chinatown to give her students the confidence to buy ingredients with foreign language labels and to demonstrate such important distinctions as the difference between holy and cinnamon basil. I went from barely being able to heat up a pot of chili to being able to glide gracefully from a cold mussel salad to a red curry duck. If Kasma's classes are not the best of the East Bay, I don't know what is!

   – Magdalene L. Crowley, Berkeley, CA, in East Bay Bests: 1993 of the Express

The intermediate cooking series was nothing less than enchanted for me: incredibly tasty and complex dishes and a truly delightful group of people with the bonus of a generous and gifted teacher. Kasma, I've told all sorts of people about how much I've enjoyed your classes. Thank you for every ounce of energy and information you've given us.

   – Linda Carucci, chef instructor at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California culinary consultant, and former dean of the California Culinary Academy.

Kasma friesI have been taking Thai cooking classes for several years from Kasma and believe that she should be declared a living treasure, both for the quality of her classes and for the tastiness of the Thai food which she teaches me to cook. Her classes are joyous, social occasions providing intelligent instruction into the secrets of Thai cooking and the methods for preparing Thai food using the ingredients available in local markets It is the absolute best Thai food I've ever eaten and Kasma is a delightful, warm individual who puts her heart and soul into her classes. My own feeling is that if I was stranded on a deserted island and given one wish, it would be that Kasma could be flown in to prepare meals.

– Mark Torresan, formerly of A Taste of Paradise Catering.

Thanks so much for another great class. I'm always touched by your generosity of spirit in sharing so much with us – your knowledge, your home, your love of your country and its culture . . . thanks for everything and I hope to see you again before too long.

– Diane

Students eat

Thank you for the fun classes. Your knowledge of Thai cuisine seems infinite and I am grateful to have learned so much from such a great teacher. I look forward to taking your next series of classes. Until then, take care!


Kasma's classes are like learning to cook from your mom. Kasma is warm and nurturing, making you feel comfortable learning something very new and different. The result is always exciting and delicious. It's given me a new appreciation for homemade Thai food and how much better it can be than the dishes served by Thai restaurants.

   – Daryl Ansel, former Director of Food Services, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services.

I loved the class – it's just the best!

   –Judy Sharlip, Cooking Instructor, SF Bay Area

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