Want to cook up a storm and learn some serious culinary skills to impress everyone back home? It’s time to get your apron on and work the pans with our list of Bali’s best cooking classes:
Paon Bali Cooking Class
Considered one of the best traditional classes on the island - the ever popular Paon is where you can experience authentic village life first hand and create delectable local lip smacking favourites. Choose from morning or afternoon classes, vegetarian or meat. The ultimate highlight? Learning how to make coconut oil.
Pesantian Cooking School
The dream of two chefs and two families - Pesantian Cooking School is located in the idyllic outskirts of Ubud. Where you can surround yourself by 180 degree rice field views, as you cook up a storm. Former Executive Chef of ALiLa Manggis - Nyoman Santika, takes you through 8 courses of authentic Balinese cuisine. Begin the day with a market visit and then head right through into hands on prep and finish with a Balinese banquet that you prepared. With two menus to choose from - this class is offered 7 days a week
You don’t need to give us an excuse to visit Sidemen - this super cute hillside village with stunning scenery is a fave! At the Green Kitchen you can explore village life, the organic garden and a cooking class that has you taking in views and cooking fireside.
Bumbu Bali Cooking Class
This one is in the must do category. Let Chef Heinz von Holzen take you through elaborate Balinese recipes at this legendary cooking school. Author of six cookbooks and a regular favourite at the Ubud Food Festival, (yes we still think your sambal was the best in the Smackdown). Chef Heinz is a purist when it comes to Balinese cuisine and sharing it with the world. Get some sleep and set the alarm because your full nine hour day starts off at the local markets at 6am. Where your guide talks you through the finer points of the island’s unique ingredients. Then watch the fishermen load up their haul as you enjoy a Balinese breakfast. Don the whites and get ready to learn up to 20 authentic recipes all under the watchful eye of Chef Heinz. If you need your beauty sleep there is the short course option.
Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique
OK there is no excuse not to get inspired when you enter ‘The Workshop’ in Ubud’s iconic restaurant Mozaic. You are now entering the culinary big time. Nestled in lush gardens, overlooking stunning rice fields this is serious culinary school set in one of the worlds finest restaurants. Embodying their philosophy of ‘Cuisine du Marché’ where seasonal Indonesian ingredients and the techniques of Modern French cuisine come together. ‘Recreational’ cooks (that’s us mere mortals) can take part in classes that cover Asian or World cuisine. Mozaic also offers impressive advanced classes in cooking techniques like sous vide. Or take a class in specialty ingredients like foie gras where you will develop a complete expert level knowledge of technique and prep. Select from half day, full day, 7 hour private or open classes. Don’t forget to also pick up a copy of Chef Chris Salans award winning cookbook during your visit. When you get home you are going to need it.
Just 30 mins from Candidasa or Amed, Executive Chef Penelope Williams takes you on mini culinary adventures to experience traditional rural Balinese life. These are not just average classes and market tours - you come here to immerse yourself in “a day in the life of” experiences. The focus is supporting local communities and farmers. All programs come complete with recipes and certification and the restaurant with its jaw dropping views is a must do for lunch.
Casa Luna Cooking School, Ubud
This Ubud culinary institution is like no other. At the helm, is Bali’s original culinary (and super elegant) ambassador Janet De Neefe - who has done more to put Ubud on the world food stage than anyone. Think that’s a big call? She is the founder of: The Ubud Food Festival, The Ubud Writers Festival and is also the owner of Indus, Casa Luna, Bar Luna, Honeymoon Guesthouse, Honeymoon Bakery and The Emporium - we still don’t know how she does it all and yet remain so serene. And as an extra accolade the cooking classes at Casa Luna are considered some of the best in Indonesia. Flawless technique and detailed knowledge brings classic Indonesian dishes to life. You will get hands on skills in these classes where the theme is different every day - fish, ceremonial or the vegan favourite ‘food as medicine’. Book these classes early as they sell out all the time. Our pick is the Sunday twilight smoked duck class - pair it with some jazz and a signature cocktail as your reward. Did someone mention cocktails?
This is Bali’s best raw, organic, GF, vegan food academy situated in the drop dead gorgeous Green School. From all age classes to private lessons, events, catering and certified courses - Living Food Lab is all about plant based goodness and food with conscience.
Part of Ubud’s culinary superstar Locavore, Nusantara is a delicious, sustainable and ethical journey around the Indonesian archipelago. So join Chef Putu and the staff for a coffee as you discuss your own customised menu. Short on time? Take ‘The Morning Adventure’ as you make the complex spice paste Bumbu Bali and prepare authentic Indonesian dishes. Enjoy your feast in the chic Nusantara dining room then take home your own recipes and a jar of spice mix. Our tip is to plan ahead and commit to the “The Full Adventure”. A 7 am start has you zooming through Ubud backstreets on the back of a scooter to the Payagan Market to select your ingredients. On your back to Ubud try Bali’s signature dish - Babi Guling or go foraging for local herbs. Head back to the kitchen to prepare your customised menu as you cook over charcoal or coconut husks. End the day with a feast fit for Indonesian royalty - then head to Night Rooster for a cocktail - you earnt it.
Iboe Soelastri’s Cooking Class - Hotel Tugu
Add this to your ‘must do’s in The ‘Gu’. With Iboe Soelastri you can try local Javanese and Balinese flavours, use traditional techniques and really hone your skills mastering Indonesian cuisine. Start your day at the largest traditional market in Bali, the bustling Pasar Badung in Denpasar - where you will get a crash course in the local produce - exotic fruits, spices and all the ingredients for your masterpiece. Then step back in time and cook your choice of dishes in an authentic warung style kitchen set in the grounds of Hotel Tuju - full of antiques, wood fired stoves and the classic earthenware we all know and love. This class is as traditional as it gets - English optional. Follow it up with Hotel Tuju’s Jamu class - where you learn how to prepare the Indonesian super elixir of health.
If you are staying in Nusa Dua join Chef Nadi at the ultra luxe couples favourite - The Balé and learn from one of the islands finest chefs. First stop will be the local markets where you will learn how to source the finest traditional ingredients. Then step into the super glam kitchen for a personalised cooking class.
Written by: Fotini E Douglas