We had a fabulous time at Lily's Secret Garden Cooking class! Chris, Lily's husband picked us up on time from our hotel and took us to a local market to pick out fresh ingredients (including freshly made coconut cream!) for our class. Chris is very personable and did a great job explaining the different fruits/veggies we saw in the market, how much they should cost etc. At their lovely home, we met chef Darwin, who taught us how to prepare three dishes, a green papaya and chicken salad, chicken red curry and a yummy banana in coconut cream dessert. (We did not meet Lily as she was working in their in town restaurant). We all (we are a family of 4) really enjoyed this fun, hands on, experience and our food was delicious, ample and authentic. I would HIGHLY recommend this class, BOOK NOW!
reviewed by Katherine fisk C | Feb 2019
Chris gave our small group of 6 people an educational visit to the local market where Chris bought our supplies for the cooking class as well as educating us on all sorts of things Cambodians eat including fried insects (not at all compulsory for us squeamish westerners). The class at Chris and Lily's house was a hoot, and with a bit of help we all managed to make a decent lunch. I'd highly recommend doing the class with Lily's if you can fit half a day into your Siem Reap schedule.
The overall experience was immensely cultural. Cooking and tasking cambodian food was a really amazing experience. Our tour guide, Chris, explained everything that we asked in the local market. He really made an effort to explain the context of everything and made us taste fried insects which was really cool. Darwin, our chef, was very patient in telling us the instructions. He made sure that we are doing the right thing, right measurement of ingredients. They are all very welcoming to their guests. Our food tasted magical! I'm a beginner in cooking and their style of teaching did not intimidate me. Thank you for the wonderful experience! Til the next!
Highly recommended whilst in Siem Reap
Meeting Chris at the Hard rock was easy. Tuk tuk around town $3 usd one way. Arrived early at hard rock and Chris was waiting for us. Jumped into his tuk tuk and headed to the market for an educational experience shopping. Once the items from the list bought headed to his house to meet chef Darwin. Great fun to prepare 3 dishes. We were a small group of 5. The instructions were easy to follow and the meal was wonderful. Arrived back at Hard rock by 1230pm. They gave us a recipe book and certificate of completion. We also received some photos via email after. Great fun.
Great experience and lovely afternoon. The visit to the local market, the cooking experience and the quality of food were great..and many thanks to the chef and the owner that made it special! Everything was perfect! Chiara (Italy)
Chris was great. Really interesting tour of the local market. We were well looked after by Darwin in the cooking class and made some lovely fresh and tasty food. A morning great which I'd highly recommend
We had a small group (just the 2 of us). Pick up by Chris in tuk tuk was a good start - met us with water & fresh fruit to snack on. He took us to local produce markets & explained local currency, cuisine, produce & general lifestyle. Then we arrived at the location for Lily’s cooking class, led by Darwin. He was very welcoming, calming, thorough & attentive in his instruction on the 3 dishes we prepared. He also took some good photos (attached) of us while we got our hands dirty... so to speak. My partner & I both enjoyed the market experience plus learning to cook / prepare some new dishes, but of course the best part was eating them! Yummo!
Chris picked us up and made us feel welcome straight away. He showed us a local food market which was beautiful. Darwin the showed us how to cook like a local using all fresh ingredients. Darwin was kind and funny and really made it an enjoyable experience. I would definitely recommend cooking at Lilys secret garden.
Chris picked us up from our hostel and drove us to the nearby market for ingredients. He was really knowledgable about local customs & produce. After we had bought everything we needed (which only took 10 minutes) we headed to the cooking school - a gorgeous outside kitchen located in the garden of their house - hence the name “Lily’s Secret Garden” Our chef, Darwin, was really friendly and explained all steps of the recipes very clearly. We made fresh spring rolls, Lort Cha fried noodles with chicken and finally Pumpkin in coconut sweet cream. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was super relaxed and we were also given a cook book to take away with us - not to mention our certificates! Highly recommended!
This is a fantastic introduction to local cuisine : simple but delicious and accessible to anyone. Our tour round the market was fascinating and our guide was very knowledgeable. Our chef for the day was patient and made you feel at home and even took pictures as keepsakes for us. A great morning and I can thoroughly recommend it.
We brought our small children along to the class (2 and 4) and Chris was very accommodating. He included them in the market tour and they ordered some of the produce. The cooking course itself was delicious. I am definitely going to do these recipes at home. A great way to spend and afternoon. Good company and great food- highly recommend!
We booked this class the 2 days prior and it was a wonderful experience. Chris picked us up from our hotel. We went to a local market and bought a few items we needed for the class. Once we arrived at the facility we met Darwin and he lead our cooking class. It was a very easy class with amazing food. I really like the format- we cooked everything and then ate. Other people assisted serving us so all our meals were still warm. I do recommend bringing some bug spray, but if you forget they do have some there.
Had a good time with lilys secret garden chef. The place is quiet. The meal is from scratch.
Great experience cooking local Cambodian food. I love the curry chicken most! Appreciated with chef Darwin's patience in teaching us. Thank you Chris for taking care all of us during our stay!
The market tour was very informative, and our guide Chris was happy to answer any questions we had. The cooking class itself was very well done, it was such a great experience making our own curry paste from scratch using traditional methods, and the ingredients were all perfectly portioned. Our chef instructor was also very good, and seemed to know the flavours of our dishes inside and out, knowing when to add more spices or seasonings (and doing so), and asking our preferences to make our dishes more to our individual tastes. Great class overall, not a bad price, I would highly recommend it.
Had a great experience cooking 3 dishes, and everyone at Lily’s secret garden was very nice and friendly. They even adjusted the menu for a vegetarian one for me. Definitely recommend the experience. It was really fun
We absolutely loved our cooking class. Chris was so kind and informative and the food we made was gorgeous. The cook book and certificate at the end was a very nice touch. We would definitely recommend this class!
The class was great, we learnt how to make some lovely authentic Cambodian recipes and i would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in cooking or who just want an interesting activity for a day in Siem Reap!
This class was amazing and more worth it than I could have imagined. I wish I had taken it first day of my trip in Cambodia, since Chris gave us tons of helpful tips and insights on Cambodian food, culture, etc. that would have made me appreciate my stay there more. We made three lovely dishes, after which I was stuffed at the end. At the same time, they felt easy enough that I could make them myself at home. We got a little recipe book and a certificate, which is always nice, of course.
I was very impressed. Host and chef were very friendly and took time to answer questions and explain the different ingredients. It was easy to prepare the food as everything was well laid out and instructions easy to follow. Food was amazing and we even got a recipe book to take home. They also cater for dietary restrictions. Thoroughly enjoyable experience. I would definitely recommend.
Great time spent at Lily's Cooking class, we started with an interesting market tour, deff recommended for 1st timers to SEA or foreigners from western countries with little exposure to such an experience. The class is at their home, lead by a great Chef Davin & his assistant, went smoothly and they teach you easy stuff you can deffinitely replicate at home. Got a small cert &a cooking book. We had the morning class and loved it.
Everything was perfect from the food to the environment and very well organized
Our class started with a great tour to the market in Siem Reap and concluded with an informative course on Cambodian cuisine. It was very relaxed and the food we made was great!
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Starting with shopping in the market gave us a good insight into local cuisine. We were guided through the cooking process in a friendly and entertaining way. Our meal was beautiful. Highly recommend this class.
Great Cambodian cooking class as well as great local food market experience!
We absolutely loved our experience with Lily’s Secret Garden. We felt like we got a truly authentic experience, and Chris was a wonderful guide in the local Cambodian market. The food was surprisingly easy to make, and we loved that they sent us home with our very own cook books. We would highly recommend taking this class while you visit Cambodia!
Grateful to visit the local market to buy the ingredients for the class. 3 dishes we cooked were all yummy
All of our interactions with Chris and his staff were top notch. Darwin was very easy to interact with and made the class fun. His giggle was infectious. We loved this experience and will recommend it to any of our friends visiting Siem Reap.
Valuable experience to look around the local market. Great teachers and environment. We will definitely recommend this class to our friends.
Learnt about using fresh produce!
Well organized and delicious! Chris was a great host!
We had a great evening at Lilly’s Secret Garden, Chris was really knowledgable around the local market. The cooking facilities were spotlessly clean and plenty of space. The chef lead us step by step to create 3 traditional Khmer dishes! Overall a great evening!
Must book this class! Authentic, local experience from beginning to end. Great market tour where we shopped for ingredients with Chris, prepared them at Chris and Lily’s home under the excellent guidance of Chef Darwin and after all our hard work, we feasted upon our delicious creations!
The class and market tour was terrific. Chris was very knowledgeable as he explained the market culture, and how to pick out the fruits and vegetables we needed. The cooking class was enjoyable and the recipes we made were very tasty. The atmosphere was very professional. The small group made it very intimate and relaxing. We recommended this to some fellow travelers this morning. Great food and good value!
Great organization; small size group (6 people) & the set-up enables you to cook and individualize your meal (mild-medium-spicy) given that you actually cook your entire meal! Great environment and lovely staff! Highly recommended
The class was really interesting and well conducted. The staff is friendly, helpful, and the menu is very good.
It was so small and cozy and I enjoyed that!
I absolutely loved this course! I’d definitely recommend! The entire experience, from the market to the actual cooking was really great, extremely well organised and the people were lovely! :)
We learned a lot by going to the markets before hand. Darwin, our chef was a great teacher. We highly recommend this.
This was a great experience, exploring the markets and learning about the Cambodian culture through food. Plus the food we made was very tasty. A mango chicken salad, a red curry and a coconut and banana dessert.
From start to finish this experience was enjoyable and I learnt a lot. The Chef was patient, funny and made you feel like you could cook. Chris’ market and local knowledge rounded off the experience. Couldn’t have asked for a better class.
Absolutely fantastic day. Really friendly and highly skilled chef walking us through the preparation and cooking of three courses. Door to door collection and drop off in a gorgeous tuk tuk van, starting with a very informative tour of the market to get fresh ingredients. Certificates, cook books and group photos at the end. Really good fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Genuine happiness from my family from this cooking adventure. We were gladly picked up from our hotel as we requested and then we got to visit the local market. The secrets of Khmer culture were diversity and their preserved techniques in cooking. Lily and Chris were kind enough to welcome us to their traditional Khmer family house in Siem Reap countryside which is 5 minutes from town. They also introduced us to home-style hands on Cambodian Cuisine cooking.
Chris and Darwin provided an excellent experience for our family. It was a relaxed and fun afternoon. The covered garden cooking area was so pleasant! Darwin was an excellent teacher. Thank you.
It was a great experience! I booked the cooking class spontaneously the evening before, Chris was very fast responding. The market visit was so amazing! We prepared and cooked at Lilys secret garden, which is a beautiful retreat in the city. The kitchen is well equipped and the food was delicious:) Totally recommend it!!
We enjoyed this class very much. Everything was very well organized and professional. Market visit was very good. Darwin the chef was patient and very entertaining. Enjoyed meeting fellow travelers.
Everything was awesome: the crew was friendly, the kitchen was very clean and the food was pretty tasty. However, this was a very beginner class. What took us 2 hours to prepare, would normally take 20 minutes. So, anyone with a greater than basic cooking skill may find this class a bit tedious. The market tour was the highlight of the afternoon. In the end it was fun, but just know this is geared for the beginner. Actually, this would be a great course for kids!
My daughter and I had a wonderful experience taking a cooking class at Lily's Secret Garden. Chris, the co-founder, walked us through the local market (Samaki) to buy all the ingredients. After the market tour, we went to Chris house. There's a very nice kitchen setup in the courtyard outside the house. We prepared three tasty Cambodian dishes. My daughter is 8yo and this was her first time preparing a meal from start (shopping for ingredients) to finish. What a great experience!
We travel with our teams to SEA often and have done various cooking classes over time. This one was brilliant!! The tour through the market was informative and relational. The class itself was personal, and we felt like we achieved a lot in the time in such a simple way. Great teaching, delicious food and the recipes are completely reproducible here in Australia, which is important. 10 out of 10!!!! We will definitely take more teams here:))) Marion (Brisbane, Australia)
Everyone we've encountered during our cooking class was so friendly and knowledgeable. I had a few questions during the market tour and cooking class and all were answered. Even my husband enjoyed it and he's usually not the cooker.
Both Chris and Damien were entertaining and informative. This was my first cooking class while traveling and it was really enjoyable.
We really enjoyed going to the market and learning about the ingredients used to make local Khmer dishes. Very relaxed atmosphere.
From the booking all the way to receiving pictures by email. Lily Secret Garden provides an excellent service. I chose the morning option. The trip to the shops with Chris was very interesting. He is very knowledgeable and explained a lot of things l had no idea about Cambodia food and lifestyle. We had a local chef for the cooking class itself and he was absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t recommend more.
Merci à Chris et toute son équipe pour cet avant-midi riche de moments et de rencontres exceptionnelles. Bonne continuité! Catherine et Audrey-Ann
Merci à Chris et toute son équipe. Avant-midi exeptionnelle riche en moments et en rencontres.
My mother and I enjoyed the class immensely. Starting in the market was a great idea as it gave us a great insight into the local method of obtaining groceries and was a true sensory experience. The cooking class' kitchen was clean, well organized, and wonderfully efficient. The chef was incredibly patient and fun to learn from with well spoken English. Unlike other classes we've had, each student got to cook their own meal so one of the gluten-free students didn't have to be concerned with cross-contamination. I highly recommend the course!
Starting from the very beginning - a trip to the market, up to the very end - the lunch - cooking class at Lily's Secret Garden was great. Extremely friendly team, great recipes and, undoubtedly, very well spent time! All I can say is - one of 'must do' things in Siem Reap!
It was a lot of fun and easy to make.
Probably the best tour through the local market we have ever had, and my husband and I have done several. We had a great time and lots of laughs.
Very attentive and knowledgeable in different ways, so host knew about the culture & clearly really fell in love with Cambodia from the way he spoke about it. It's always amazing to meet people who are passionate about their culture and their jobs. Chef was very patient and also took the time to explain everything to everyone which was great, since it makes an enjoyable and easy experience.
Had a great time with Chris and Darwin. Spent lots of time with us and answered all our many questions. Highly recommend this class to all
We had a very good time.
The class was a great learning experience and fun too. Chris was an excellent host who is very knowledgeable of the local foods and market. We enjoyed the trip to the market with him and then had a great time preparing the traditional foods back at his home. Our chef teacher was helpful as well. Chris went out of his way to help us with other local recommendations as well. The price was a good value for the very enjoyable experience!!
My partner and I (both from NZ) had a great time at Lilly’s Secret Garden! We were picked up from our accommodation by Chris (Lilly’s husband) who was very friendly, accommodating and very knowledgeable. He took us to a local food market to grab a few ingredients we were going to be using, explained how the markets worked, gave us a tour of some of the different stalls and also a good run down on various fruits and vege’s in a fun and interactive way. Once we arrived at the secret garden we were greeted by Chef Darwin who was great (very funny sense of humour) and his knife skills were crazy good! We were laughing pretty much the whole time! I don’t want to give too much away but if you are looking for something fun to do whilst in Cambodia and with the added bonus of some yummy food at the end we would highly recommend going along Lilly’s secret garden!! Good times all round. Thanks.
The start of the morning was great, Chris took us through the market and explaining in details what were the products and how they're used. The setup at their place is lovely, but then Chris left, and someone else gave the actual cooking class - which became a lot less insightful. The food prepared was good but fairly basic. Overall a nice experience, but the cooking & food itself could be a little more special!
Zowel het inkopen op de markt met uitleg als ook de cooking class met uitleg wordt bijzonder goed uitgelegd en maakt het op een geweldige manier mogelijk om kennis te maken met de Cambodja- aanse keuken. Echt een aanrader om te doen tijdens je verblijf in Siem Reap!!!!
Our teacher Darwin made for an enjoyable morning with his fun personality and knowledge. I had a great time and cannot wait to recreate the recipes we cooked at home. The market tour was so relaxed and informative without being touristy. This course offers an excellent value and a great way to meet new friends while travelling.
Excellent organization from the market tour to the final delicious meal enjoying and extra cook book to remember and practice Cambodian cooking back home BRAVO
This was a great casual class! Chris and Darwin were great hosts! It was a great way to learn about Cambodian cuisine!
This course was absolutely brilliant. The staff were great and the setting and food perfection. Would highly recommend.
cookly is so helpful on the reservation
The market tour was really good, had learned a lot about the lifestyle and food pricing of Cambodian. The cooking class was really amazing. Everything is well prepared and the place is clean. The chef was friendly and taught us a lot in cooking
Excellent experience of market tour and cooking class Really enjoyed a lot Learned a lot about Khmer dishes and cooking style
Nice host and chef Taught us well on Khmer dishes Nice experience
The whole experience at Lily’s Secret Garden was excellent. From the transport by Tuk Tuk to the market shopping to the cooking everything was brilliantly organised and most enjoyable. Our host, Chris, was very knowledgeable about the ingredients we bought and the chef was patient and helpful. We were part of a group of 6 which was perfect. Would highly recommend this experience in Siem Reap.
It was really nice to visit the market to buy and learn about the ingredients. The space for the class also nice! Our teacher and experienced chef was really great! I loved the experience and would without any doubt to recommend Lily’s Secret Garden for a great cooking class in Cambodia!
Chris picked us up in his oversized tuk-tuk for a tour of the market, which was very informative. We made amazing stir fry, spring rolls, and dessert. It was a lovely experience!
Excellent cooking class! Great and authentic market tour! Chris and the chef were super friendly and provided great recommendations.
Very fun and informative visit to the market buying ingredients for the meal. Wonderful hands on teaching experience as we prepared and enjoyed eating a delicious 3 course meal. Tremendous value.
好悠閒嘅早上 如果唔怕污濁，遊走地道街市，Chris一邊講解 去到Chris家裡在花園中學由當地廚師教煮地道柬埔寨菜，味道唔錯，環境幾靚，花園種咗好多香料、水果 Chris非常親切，介紹當地好多其他可去的地方
Great class and I learnt a lot of little tips to help with Cambodian cooking. Very helpful teacher and lots of fun.
The course is amazing, get to visit the "very local wet market" in Siem Reap and everything is so organized. Love the Cambodian recipe and the "classroom" is lovely:) One of my best memory in this trip and had heaps of fun with ppl around the world , who also passionate about food and travelling.
Chris was so kind even when we were running late for the class. Market tour was very good and Darwin the chef was very accommodating. Only suggestion for improvement would be to provide water with ice as it was very very hot on the day of our class.
I really enjoyed my cooking class. Food was fresh and delicious and I learned a lot about khmer culture and food.
This cooking class was an amazing experience including a market visit and we made a red curry from scratch!
Chris and Darwin were fantastic. We would highly recommend Lily’s secret garden cooking class.
The class well organized. First we went to the local market. It was very interesting. We learned a lot about local products and the culter and life of cambodian people. The dishes were very delicious.
Unforgettable experience with awesome people!
I enjoyed the trip to the market, making the food, and of course eating the food!!
We all enjoyed our visit to the market & the whole cooking class. Even my 16 year old son loved it!
A really lovely experience to share as a family & connect with locals
The structure was good, it was informative in positive way, you will learn a lot about Cambodian vegetable and fruits. We were very impressed by warm welcoming enviroment, as you were invited traditional Cambodian family house. You don’t need to worry even if your cooking skills are not so strong, you will still have fun. Thank you so much for great experience! We highly recommend this class. Dean and Yoko
While we were initially disappointed to not have Lilly as our chef, the chef that they’ve been working with was very good, personable and knowledgeable. The local market was definitely the highlight as we were the only tourists there. Would definitely recommend!
A fun class of 5 people in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere
My wife and I had a great time at Lily's Secret Garden cooking class. The class was limited to only 6 people, which provided an intimate setting for learning about Cambodia cuisine while having great conversation with the other participants. The food that we made was superb and all of the kitchen supplies and utensils were clean and like-new. We would definitely recommend this class to anybody interested in learning about Cambodian cuisine in a fun way.... The visit to the market to purchase some ingredients was also a nice experience - we were able to learn about ingredients that are native to this region of the globe. 5 stars overall!
My wife and I absolutely loved this cooking class. The experience and the food were both great. This class starts off by taking everyone to the market to buy the ingredients to be used in the recipes. We then return to the kitchen, which was very new and clean, to learn about the Cambodian cuisine and to prepare our food. We would definitely recommend this class!
Market trip was great - we learned a lot about the different ingredients and how they are used. Cooking class itself was a guided do-it-yourself which I think is the best way. Khmer chef guides you through a real Khmer way to cook and how the ingredients are best used. Everyone sits down together to eat at the end - so full by the end! Recommended!
Very professional and very informative. It is a cultural experience that you need to go into with an open mind. Thank you Chris and head chief Darwin. My taste buds thank you for enlightening us to the traditional Cambodian way if cooking.
3 vegans left stuffed and satisfied. The red curry we made from scratch was incredible. And all 3 courses were easily customizable to be vegan. Chef Darwin and host Chris were kind, friendly, and informative. One of the highlights was seeing fresh coconut cream made from coconuts in the market. We would definitely recommend!
Chris picked us up from our hotel in his tuk tuk and drove us to the market. We walked around with him while he talked to us about the ingredients he was buying. He was very knowledgeable and friendly! We then headed to Lily's Secret Garden. We met the chef, Darwin, who would be teaching us how to make the recipes. We had a great group, 3 of us and 2 others. We all laughed and chatted as we cooked. Darwin gave us easy instructions, and the food was delicious. I'd highly recommend it!!
The location for the class was beautiful and very intimate and personal. Darwin the chef was sweet and very helpful and chris the host was delightful. Food was delicious
Chris picked us up from our hotel and took us to the local market to buy some of the ingredients. Then he took us to his home where the cooking class was held. It was a lovely set up and very well led by Darwin. The class was very small and intimate and after cooking, we were served the food we cooked at the dinner table. It was like cooking and having dinner with friends. Would highly recommend if you are in siem reap. Chris is a great host and Darwin was very sweet too. Went home with a. Cookbook and chris even sent some photos that they took of us by email. The food was delicious
This was my first activity as soon as I arrived in Siem Reap and I had a great afternoon going a bit around town and then cooking and eating at Lily's Secret Garden. Chris and Lily are both lovely and really friendly. Little Austin was also happy to see us :) The class was easy to follow and fun. I was just a bit disappointed that in the afternoon class' market tour was not really long, since most of the stalls at the market are closed. It would be helpful to add this into the class description, so anyone interested in a more detailed and full market experience they should go for a morning class. The recipe book is also great and will soon be making a Khmer dinner for my friends :) Thank you Lilly, Chris and Austin for this great experience!
This was by far the best cooking class we have tried! You get picked up by Chris and he shows you around in this really local marked which was great fun! After that you go to their home where they have a very nice outdoor kitchen with great facilities. You feel very at home and lily and her staff are very nice ;-) The level of cooking is good - it is not too hard but also not too easy. We really enjoyed our time in Lily's secret garden and would definitely recommend it to others! And as a bonus you get a certificate and a cook book, which is really good so that you can try to cook the meals at home. Thank you to Chris and Lily for a great experience!
Awesome food. Chris and Lily are super nice and their son is adorable. Cooking class was great. Would recommend this class to anyone coming to Siem Reap.