The Maya Kitchen - Thai Cuisine Cooking Demo

It was my first day back in Manila for a 4-month training and Don Trivino of, asked me to join him for a cooking demo at The Maya Kitchen in Makati City. The cooking demo is held once a month wherein they invite chefs from different restaurants to show how they prepare their signature dishes.

We thought we were late already as we arrived past 9:00 AM, but the demo was moved to an hour later and so we're still able to see the preparation of the staff.

The cooking demo was done by Chef Jay Gamboa and one of the Thai chefs, Chef Malichat. Chef Jay Gamboa is the executive chef of Azuthai and Cirkulo.

Chef Malichat from Thailand and Chef Jay Gamboa

Chef Jay Gamboa highlighted that they use only authentic Thai ingredients that are already available in leading groceries. When they were starting with Azuthai, they had to import all their condiments from Bangkok and were really glad when the items became available here in the Philippines.

The demo started at exactly 10:00AM with the venue almost full. The first dish was Tom Yam Goong Soup (all links will go to the recipe) or Hot and Sour Prawn Soup. Preparation takes around 15 minutes but cooking takes only about 5 minutes. 

Tom Yam Goong Soup or Hot and Sour Prawn Soup
Geng Kew Wan Gai or Green Chicken Curry is the next dish. Just like the Tom Yam, preparation takes around 15 minutes and cooking takes only about 5 minutes. One tip Chef Jay said was not to hard boil as the coconut milk might break and the dish might not look very well although it will taste the same.

Geng Kew Wan Gai or Green Chicken Curry
The third dish is Goong Pad Prik Kratiem or Chili Garlic Prawns. After prepping the ingredient, combine the the seasoning then fry the prawns until done. One other distinction of Thai cooking is that they seldom saute their food, hence all ingredients are fresh and mixed while cooking.

Goong Pad Prik Kratiem or Chili Garlic Prawns

The last dish is Pla Naeng Ma Naw or Steamed Whole Boneless Apahap cooked with lime, fish sauce, garlic, coriander and chili. Make sure to remove the spine of the fish before you start cooking. Apahap (sea bass) can also be replaced with lapu-lapu or any large white fleshed fish.

Chef Malichat deboning the Apahap

After deboning the apahap, steam for 10-15 minutes or until it is cooked. When the fish is done, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the fish and garnish. Another secret to Thai cuisine is to use equal parts for the seasonings to balance the taste.

Pla Naeng Ma Naw or Steamed Whole Boneless Apahap

While the fish was being steamed, Chef Jay started preparing our dessert - Mango with Sticky Rice. The trick here is to soak the glutinous rice overnight and make sure not to boil the sauce as this may curdle.

Mango with Sticky Rice

As the demo was about to finish, the trainees of The Maya Kitchen were preparing our lunch from the dishes cooked by Chef Jay Gamboa anf Chef Malichat. One dish I was expecting was Pad Thai or flat rice noodles, which is one of my favorite Thai food, maybe I will just have to try it in Azuthai.

We enjoyed lunch as the taste of the dishes were well balanced. Don and I enjoyed the food especially the dessert, which we asked for another serving.

After the event, we had some pictorial with Chef Jay, Chef Malichat, Ms. Rory Subida (Culinary Directress of The Maya Kitchen) and the staff and trainees of The Maya Kitchen.

I hope that I get to be invited again for the next cooking demo. Next time, I will be bringing Utazo with me.

For inquiries and information, you may visit or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City. You may also call (02) 892-1185 / 892-5011 local 108 or their mobile number at +63 947-835-2290.

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