Cholaya “Ya” Laothong is a professional chef and master of Thai Cuisine holding a diploma of Food Nutrition from Rajamangala Institute of Technology, earned after training for two years at the prestigious Siam International Hotel in Bangkok. Since 1983 Ya has performed a variety of roles as a professional chef. Having served as Desert Chef at the famous Casablanca Restaurant in Jakarta, the Executive Chef at a hotel in Luxembourg, and as supervisor of the Thai World Export Company in Bangkok, Ya is no stranger to international cuisine. Shortly after serving as the Food and Beverage Manager at Ao Nang Villa Resort, a role she performed for two years, Ya discovered her true passion: teaching. In 2000, Ya opened up Krabi’s first Thai cookery school. With her love of cooking, jovial personality, and attentive nature, Ya’s cookery has since flourished into an establishment that has taught students from around the world (including the famous Chef Gordon Ramsey) the secrets of traditional Thai Cuisine.

Intensive Cooking Course : For those that are looking for a more intensive lesson in traditional Thai cooking, Mrs.Ya now offers a three day two night course. Inclusive of all accomodation, food, and transport, the course will take students to the next level by not only introducing them to dishes that form the staple of Thai cuisine, but also introducing them to more advanced techniques as well as a lesson, including a field trip to the Krabi market, in how to choose the freshest ingredients that will really elevate your cooking ability. On the last night, students of this intensive course will also have the opportunity to see everything in action by enjoying a dinner prepared by Mrs.Ya herself!

 *Advanced booking is required*

            Thai food is internationally famous. Whether chilli-hot or comparatively blands, harmony is the guiding principle behind each dish. Thai cuisine is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something uniquely Thai. The characteristics of Thai food.  
  Thai Soups

   The best known Thai soups are: Tom Yam Goong and Tom Ka Gai. Since a Thai meal is a multi-faceted entity, comprising many different dishes served simultaneously rather than sequentially, there’s no separate course for the many items listed under the “soup” heading on your menu. However, if you’ve been handed a tiny bowl and Chinese-style soup spoon, there’s a soup in your future. Some of the more watery curries make you yearn for something to eat them with besides rice, but Thai dining protocol militates against individual serving bowls of most Kaeng.

   The legendary spicy/sour tom yam kung available throughout Thailand and at self-respecting  Thai restaurants worldwide is the watery cousin of the famous Thai yarn or salad. Though the name translates as “boiled mixture” (tom means boil and yam, toss or mix), the fiery broth is anything but bland. It’s made with the traditional Thai aromatics - galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime - combined with tiny chilies and chili paste. Other types of fish besides Goong (Prawns) can be added, and certain versions incorporate coconut cream into the broth

   Coconut cream features heavily in another Thai soup, tom ka gai, literally boiled galangal with chicken. The richness of the coconut cream, slightly separated by boiling, combines with the peppery taste of galangal and mitigates the sourness of the lime, creating yet another perfectly balanced Thai combination of disparate flavors

Herb and Spices

   Holy Basil (Krapao) has a hot flavor and slightly medicinal. It has a purple stem and purple leaves, usually used in stir-fried menu such as Stir-Fried Chicken with holy basil
leaves (Pad Krapao Gai).

    Sweet Basil (Horapa) Bai Horapa is the most popular. It has small, dark leaves with reddish-purple stems and flowers. Its flavor is reminiscent of aniseed and somewhat stronger than that of the western sweet basil. It is mainly used in many Thai recipes such as Green Curry with Chicken [Kang Kaew Wan Kai], Stir-Fried Clams with Roasted Chili Paste. 

   Chilli (Prik Kee Noo) There are many different kinds of chillies. The small, red and green fresh chillies, known as Thai or bird's eye, are extremely hot. Larger varieties are slightly milder. The 'fire' comes from the seeds so discard them if a milder flavour is preferred. Chillies contain volatile oil that can irritate the skin and cause eyes to burn. Always wash your hands immediately after using them. It is widely used in many thai recipes which are Spicy Soup with Prawn and Lemon Grass [Tom Yum Koong], Papaya Salad [Som Tum), etc. Tom Yam and Tom Kha cannot be made without them

   Lemon Grass (Takrai) Also known as citronella, lemon grass has long pale green stalks and a bulbous end similar to a spring onion. Only the bottom 12cm/5in is used. It has a woody texture and an aromatic lemony scent.


   This is made up “un-salted” and “salted” in solid and soft forms. The solid curd has a cheesy consistency, and is sold in blocks about 100mm (4”) square. The blocks of un- salted curd are white, while the blocks of salted curd are yellow on the outside and off-white, inside. The salted curd is also called “ Yellow Beancurd”.




Krabi Cookery School 269 Moo 2, Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000 Thailand
Phone: (66) 075.662.155 Mobile: (66) 081.979.0677  E-mail: