Chose this particular school since I liked the idea of walking through an organic private garden, picking, smelling, tasting to learn about each herb and spices to use in your own dishes (instead of visiting a crowded noisy market). The cooking stations were outdoors under roofed brand new huts, which were very beautiful and completely sheltered even when it pelted down with rain (had screens on sides for added wind and rain protection). The farm is very spacious and can walk around after enjoying welcome tea, went on a swing and hammock and watched lotus floating in the river.
I later found out that this cooking school is less than 1 year old so everything is clean and new, including toilets. It seems to be less well known compared to big facebook and instagramed schools perhaps since it wasn't in central Chiangmai (it was 15 min drive from hotel for us, but why does that matter when you are picked up in an air-conditioned new leather seat Honda Accord by your chef 30 mins before the class?). Oh and about the chefs, we met two, both were young in their late 20s to early 30s, spoke perfect English, one had majored in thai cruisine in Bangkok uni and worked as chef in Abu Dhabi and Carribeans before returning, planning to be a 5 star hotel chef, other was working in a restaurant in Chiangmai. Needless to say, communication was not an issue. The chefs are NOT some random housewife with limited English, which was what I was kinda expecting. I booked through Cookly about 20 hours before the class started and still we were the only two in the class on a Wednesday afternoon in October. It must be because this new company doesnt have much social media exposure or brochures in every hotel. We had 1 on 1 teaching where the chef cooks her own meal and we follow with our own ingredients, and could choose between any color curry and famous Khao Soi as well as choose from 2 soups, fixed pad thai, and fixed mango sticky rice (i.e 4 dishes - soup pad thai curry and dessert, plus provided tea). Afters an amazing meal we cooked ourselves with ZERO cleanup, we ate with the chef and chatted, before she dropped us off at an attraction that we asked to be dropped off at.
The whole experience far exceeded what I expected. The Cookly site had a discount for the afternoon class, so we paid $30USD per person but would have gladly paid the original price of $43usd, given classes in Koh samui are twice the price, or 4-5 times the price back home in Sydney Australia. Honestly had the best experience so far on 3 visits to Thailand.
I really hope this company flourishes.
Peter from Sydney