Leanne Wei

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

A trip to Thailand wouldn't be complete without a Thai cooking class. It's been one of my dreams to learn how to make some of my favourite Thai dishes for years and I was so happy to finally get to have this experience last week with Phuket Thai Cooking Academy.

phuket wet market

I chose to do a half day cooking class on a Monday afternoon. I think it's great because you get to choose 5 dishes of your choice with free pick-up and drop-off included if you are staying in certain areas in Phuket, including Patong, Kathu, Kata, Kamala, and Phuket Town.

thailand banana flowers

I got picked up at 1:30pm and was dropped off at the wet market where I was greeted our guide and the rest of the group in the cooking class. We were given a tour around the market and I learned so many wonderful and interesting things about shopping for fresh produce and the complex flavours of Thai ingredients. Basically, most Thai vegetables (from eggplants, onions, garlic to chili) are so tiny compared to the average norm, but are PACKED with double the strength and flavour. Talk about good things coming in small packages. 

thailand wet market

One of my favourite things about Thailand is how you will often see food wrapped in banana leaves instead of plastic. It looks so beautiful, tastes delicious and is so much better for the environment. 

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy wet market

Another interesting fact I really enjoyed learning was that 80% of the produce found in this wet market are organic.

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy market herbs
Phuket Thai Cooking Academy market veggies
Phuket Thai Cooking Academy
 Butterfly pea flower tea with lemon

Butterfly pea flower tea with lemon

We made our way to the academy after the market tour and were welcomed with the a glass of the most beautifully coloured butterfly pea flower tea. The tea is naturally blue in colour and turns into a gorgeous shade of purple when combined with lemon juice. It looked like magic. 

 Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

And talk about cooking in paradise... This was the view from our kitchen.

 Red curry ingredients

Red curry ingredients

My first two dishes were red curry and tom kha gai. We prepped all the fresh ingredients and sauces for the dish at the beginning of the class.

 Tom Kha Gai ingredients

Tom Kha Gai ingredients

Then we moved on to cooking on the wok. 

 Chicken with cashew

Chicken with cashew

 Pad Thai

Pad Thai

 Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai

 Coconut sticky rice

Coconut sticky rice

Prepping the coconut sticky rice was so fun. I didn't realize how simple this delicious dessert actually is. I'll definitely be making more of this once I head home. 

 Red curry

Red curry

And voila! My first red curry dish complete. 

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

We plated all the dishes and sat down for one heck of a feast. Everything was divine and I couldn't believe that I was actually able to make all of my favourite Thai dishes. 

 Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice

This was such a fun and incredible afternoon. If you're ever looking for a Thai cooking class in Phuket, I'd highly recommend spending a day learning from the experienced and talented chefs at Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

 

Many thanks to Phuket Thai Cooking Academy for providing such a wonderful experience!

Peach picking at Alstede Farm

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It's hard to believe that we're already in the middle of August. I was chatting to Jane about my trip to Europe in September and it suddenly hit us both that I only have about a month left before I will be jetting off again. She showed me her summer bucket list and we immediate decided that we absolutely have to go peach picking before the end of the season! And that's exactly what we ended up doing last week Sunday. 

We got a group of friends and the doggies and made our way to Alstede Farms in New Jersey where we got to pick our own peaches! Aside from a few of us getting mild allergic reactions to peach fuzz, it was so fun eating peaches straight off the trees! We went a little over board though and ended up spending about $47 on a giant box of hand picked peaches... But it's okay, there will just be lots of peach pies to come! 

It can sometimes be difficult to find dog friendly places, but I'm so happy we got to bring Marshmallow on our little peach picking adventure to Alstede Farms! 

Rooftop Summer Soiree with Fohrcard x Sweetgreen x Winc x Coastal

fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange
fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange table top
fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange dinner
brooklyn grange dinner
winc
winc brooklyn grange
leanne wei honey & velvet
winc wine
brooklyn grange sunset dinner
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brooklyn grange nyc rootop farm

Top: Tobi | Shorts: Aritzia | Sandals: Kelso | Sunglasses: Coastal
 

I've been dreaming of visiting the Brooklyn Grange ever since I first discovered that there was actually a rooftop farm in NYC. I had lived vicariously through everyone's Instagram pictures for so long, but it was such an amazing experience to to finally make a personal visit on Wednesday night for dinner with Fohrcard, Sweetgreen, Winc and Coastal. 

I was welcomed by a lovely glass of  rosé courtesy of Winc when I arrived. One of the hardest things about attending influencer events is that I don't know anyone 95% of the time so I'm usually the awkward person in the corner on my camera/phone. But the universe was on my side on Wednesday and I became friends at first sight with Waikei (@waikeezy) at the wine table! She is super lovely and it's always SO nice to meet someone that you get along so well with right from the get go! 

The sun was shining in my eyes when I remembered that I forgot to bring sunglasses, but Waikei and I ended up chatting with the beautiful ladies from Coastal and guess what? They had everyone's sunglasses covered! Coastal - you guys are so awesome!! I love the aviator frames!

Dinner was served at 7pm, right after a few words from the wonderful James Nord (he looks and talks exactly the same way as he does on A Drink with James hahaha). We feasted on hummus + sourdough bread, cashew tofu, mexican elote, strawberry fields and spring chicken salads - all freshly made in house courtesy from the amazing team at Sweetgreen. We took pictures and laughed and talked and sipped on white wine and rose all night long... And when dessert time came, I tried OddFellows ice cream for the first time! The raspberry and strawberry basil were my fav. 

It was one of the hottest summer nights in New York this year, but being on a rooftop over sunset is an experience that is absolutely priceless.

 

Thank you so much to for this beautiful experience! 
FohrcardSweetgreenWincCoastal | Brooklyn Grange | OddFellows


Photos by me and Mark Asuncion


Field of Sunshine

honeyandvelvet
honeyandvelvet
honeyandvelvet
honeyandvelvet
honeyandvelvet

I remember seeing a bright field of yellow sunflowers the first week I got back to South Africa as my brother and I made a three and a half hour drive from Johannesburg to KZN that one late afternoon in mid-February.  I couldn't believe the amount of yellow blossoms that spun across my eyes as I observed the acres and acres of land covered in golden blooms.  Naturally, I nagged and nagged and made Owen promise that we would make our way back for a visit on our way back to Joburg.  I'm glad he complied. 

If you follow me on Snapchat, you would have seen how ecstatic I was that day I got play in a field of sunflowers despite the incredible heat in the country at the moment.  I hope to bring my mum and little brother back to the sunflower farm for another visit one of these days.  The light was way too bright on the day we visited and we couldn't risk driving in the dark waiting for golden hour to set in, but I hope to drop by this golden field of sunshine for a proper shoot one of these days, because these impromptu iPhone photos just don't do it any justice. 
 

Photos by Owen Wei