Move aside, MasterChef. These cooking classes in Bali let you take home the tricks of Indonesia’s culinary trade, with trips to the markets & spicy tips for the perfect sambal too!
Besides the beaches, the dazzling sunsets, the glamorous resorts and the jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes, if there’s one thing we can’t live without in Bali, it’s Indonesian cuisine. Packed to the fragrant brim with herbs, spices, farm-fresh produce and generation-old recipes that can turn a simple handful of rice into a wide-eyed, lip-licking foodgasm, Indonesia’s home dishes are our absolute fave. And FYI, sambal separation anxiety is a real thing. So, if you’ve ever wanted to bring your fave nasi goreng back to your homeland, why not hit up a cooking class in Bali and learn the skills to make it yourself?
Luckily for us, the island is brimming with cooking schools and classes to teach us the tricks of the culinary trade. They offer everything from ingredient scouting to traditional preparation and must-try dishes, and even adventures to the local markets and across the luscious landscapes to give you a real taste of Bali (pun intended). So to help you get your fix, here’s our pick of Bali’s very best cooking classes.
Best cooking classes in Bali – traditional techniques & cultural experiences
1. Sokasi Cooking School – Fours Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
The bee’s knees of Balinese cooking schools, this is about as luxurious as a cooking class will get in Bali. At Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, you can learn how to make traditional Balinese dishes such as chicken satay and grilled red snapper in banana leaf, all in the comfort of a super stylish five-star hotel. Head chef Wayan Sutariawan invites novice and pro chefs alike to experience a hands-on approach (yup, that means you’ll be getting stuck in!) to learn about the exotic world of Balinese cooking. It begins at 8am (enough time for a lie-in) with an escorted outing to the local market. The tour is followed by an informative traditional or vegetarian cooking class in a bamboo open kitchen by the valley, where you’ll then tuck into your own creations.
The cooking class details: Daily market tour from 8am to 9am, followed by cooking class and lunch from 11am to 2pm. Choose between traditional or vegetarian.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Jl Raya Sayan, Ubud, p. +62 361 977 577.
2. Art Cafe Bumbu Bali
Art Cafe is the newer and more modern version of Bumbu Bali – the OG of the island’s culinary schools and one of the best places to feast on local food in Bali. It’s been around for yonks and continues to be a favourite for the island’s regulars (us included). We love the cooking class because you start the day early by getting down and dirty at the local markets. It kicks off early at dawn with a tour of Jimbaran market, where you can source your fresh produce, herbs and spices. You’ll then fill up on a big Balinese breakfast whilst listening to a comprehensive introduction to the exotic ingredients and unique culinary heritage of Bali, before heading to the kitchen. You’ll get to learn the secrets of traditional Balinese recipes, all under the guidance of Heinz von Holzen who has written five books on Balinese and Indonesian cuisine. You can’t argue with that!
The cooking class details: This nine-hour activity takes place on Wednesdays and costs USD 85++ with a market visit, or USD 65++ without.
Art Cafe Bumbu Bali, Jl Pintas Siligita No.101, Nusa Dua, p. +62 813 5368 5836, e. [email protected]
3. Tresna Bali Cooking School
Tucked away in Ubud’s lush landscapes, the Tresna Bali Cooking School (Tresna means “love” in Balinese) is all about teaching you the traditions and magic of Balinese culture – all through food. Not only will you get to delve deep into coveted authentic Balinese recipes, you’ll also get to pick your own ingredients from the school’s riverside organic garden. You’ll then develop your culinary skills through an intimate hands-on workshop (limited to just eight lucky students) in the modern indoor kitchen or the al fresco outdoor kitchen. It’s the perfect choice if a farm-to-table cooking class is your thing…
The cooking class details: Balinese Lunch Feast or Vegan Cooking Class run for 5.5 hours. Check out Tresna’s schedule for more details.
Tresna Bali Cooking School, Jl Raya Goa Gajah, Gang Tresna, Ubud, p. +62 812 3963 033, e. [email protected]
4. Casa Luna Cooking School
We could leave this recommendation at one name: Janet De Neefe. A respected Bali icon and the “Queen of Ubud”, Janet has been living in Bali with her husband Ketut Suardana for over 30 years. She founded the world-famous Ubud Food Festival, has released both a cookbook and a memoir, and owns many of Ubud’s hospitality hotspots – Casa Luna, Indus, Honeymoon Bakery, Honeymoon Guesthouses, and The Emporium. The Casa Luna Cooking School is just one part of their very delicious pie. Listed amongst the “world’s best cooking schools” in The Australian newspaper, check out their schedule including a twilight smoked duck class and a vegan food as medicine class. Intrigued? Us too!
The cooking class details: Each of the daily classes has a unique theme (with and without market tours) and is priced from Rp 400,000 to Rp 500,000 per person. Be sure to check Casa Luna’s schedule for more details and registration.
Casa Luna Cooking School, Jl Bisma, Ubud, p. +62 813 3823 9921, [email protected]
5. Paon Bali
Arguably one of the most well known food-meets-culture experiences on the island, Paon Bali offers cooking classes that are as much about getting to know Balinese village life as they are about food. With a choice of vegetarian or meat classes, and the chance to learn the process of making coconut oil, Paon Bali is not to be missed. And if you’re not sure if it’s the right one for you, just check out the flood of online praise, and don’t be surprised if you read “the best cooking class EVER” – more than once.
The cooking class details: Choose from a morning class at 8.30am or an afternoon class at 3.30pm, both from Rp 350,000 per person.
Paon Bali, Laplapan Village, Ubud, p. +62 813 3793 9095, e. [email protected]
6. Cooking class with Ibu Soelastri at Hotel Tugu Bali
If you’re hellbent on learning about (and tasting!) as many local ingredients, flavours and exotic spices as possible using age-old techniques and preparations from a bygone era, then Ibu Soelastri’s cooking class at Hotel Tugu Bali should definitely be on your culinary school shortlist. The three-hour program is curated by Ibu Soelastri herself – starting from 9.30am. You’ll get to make three Javanese or Balinese savoury dishes (choose from the a la carte menu or request your favourites ahead of time), one Indonesian chilli paste (AKA sambal) and one traditional dessert. The class is held in a classically-designed kitchen complete with wood-fired stoves, antique wooden furnishings and earthenware of old – you might even forget you’re cooking in the 21st century (just don’t forget to take a sambal selfie)!
The cooking class details: Classes must be booked two days in advance, for a minimum of two people. Each class is priced at Rp 800,000++ per person.
Hotel Tugu Bali, Jl Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu Beach, p. +62 361 4731 701 / +62 813 3702 0904, e. [email protected]
7. Senography Cooking School at RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA
If organic gardens, sustainable farming and unprocessed ingredients tickle your taste buds, then the Scenography Cooking School at RIMBA Jimbaran Bali is the cooking class for you. Bystanders need not apply, because this class invites you to tuck into a multi-sensory introduction to the basics of Bali’s unique cuisine, with hands-on experience of Bali’s exotic produce, including turmeric, lemongrass, palm sugar, chilli, and salam leaves – all the best bits! And just in case all that cooking makes you sleepy, you might as well team your cooking class up with a few nights’ rest, because RIMBA has won countless awards as one of the world’s very best resorts.
The cooking class details: The cooking classes are priced at IDR 1,050,000 ++ per person.
RIMBA Jimbaran Bali, Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, p. +62 361 846 8468, e. [email protected]
8. Bali Asli restaurant and cooking school
For those wanting to craft an entirely traditional adventure around the cooking school experience, Bali Asli is the perfect choice. Located in the northeast village of Gelumpang, about 30 minutes from Candidasa or amazing Amed, Bali Asli is an all-encompassing culinary experience with a number of culinary adventures to choose from. Our fave is the “A day in the life of a Balinese lady” program – from the crack of dawn, you’ll be hustling the morning produce markets with the chefs and soaking up the culture, before returning to the school. You’ll even get to prepare Balinese flower offerings. All of the programs come complete with certificates and recipes, and whichever experience you choose, experimenting with the likes of steamed young fern tips, bamboo and betelnut husks will see you leaving the cooking school endlessly inspired and armed with a new appreciation for Balinese culture and cuisine.
The cooking class details: Bali Asli’s classes and adventures are available on most days or by request – each includes different experiences, so be sure to check the school’s schedule for more details.
Bali Asli, Jl Gelumpang, Karangasem, p. +62 822 3690 9215, e. [email protected]
9. Lobong Culinary Experience Bali
If it’s value for money you’re after, Lobong Culinary Experience’s cooking lesson is everything you need. Located just north of Ubud, this tranquil mountain setting is perfect for exploring Balinese food, even welcoming you into the home of your kitchen host to really get a feel for Balinese living. You’ll check out a market, learn some kitchen skills, munch your way through your creations in the outdoor cooking pavilion, before saying farewell to the Lobong family. The price even includes hotel transfers in the central Ubud area, an instructional booklet and crispy banana fritters on arrival (AKA pisang goreng)!
The cooking class details: The class is priced at IDR 450,000 per person for an afternoon class, or IDR 475,000 with a market trip during the morning class.
Lobong Culinary Experience Bali, Jl Raya Kedewatan, Ubud, p. +62 812 3651 778, e. [email protected]
10. Subak Cooking Class
For an authentic, Balinese home cooking experience, you’ll want to check out the cooking and trekking combo at Subak Cooking Class. Your culinary journey begins with a visit to the local market and a trek through the rice fields, where you’ll get to learn all about rice cultivation. You’ll then make a stop at a Balinese village to experience the local culture, before heading to the culinary school. As you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with a cold ginger tea, a comprehensive explanation and demonstration of what you’ll be cooking, and a temple offering. You’ll then head to the kitchen, learn the secrets to nine Balinese recipes, and the best part is, you’ll get to eat them all after!
The cooking class details: Choose from a morning class at 8am or an afternoon class at 2pm, both from Rp 350,000 per person.
Subak Cooking Class, Jl Werkudara, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, p. +62 812 3887 9210, e. [email protected]
11. Balinese Cooking Class at The Balé Nusa Dua
We all like a little support sometimes, especially when we’re not too sure which way up the chef’s knife should be. So to help you settle into your luxe cooking class at The Balé Nusa Dua, the thoughtful chef goes out of his way to make you feel like his bestie, all the while sharing the secrets of whipping up a Balinese masterpiece. The class begins with a very personal welcome from the chef himself before he escorts you through the local vegetable and fish markets to source the ingredients for your epic lunch. A few slices here, a bit of frying there, a sprinkle of some farm-fresh herbs and spices, and voila! Your feast is served, before your new chef chum bestows you with your own certificate and a personalised gift.
The cooking class details: The class is held from Monday thru Sunday and costs IDR 950,000++ per person for two hours of personalised deliciousness.
The Balé Nusa Dua – Bali, Jl Raya Nusa Dua, Nusa Dua, p. +62 361 775 111, e. [email protected]
Best cooking classes in Bali – plant-based, vegan & raw
12. New Earth Cooking School
The creative brainchild from the founder of Bali’s iconic plant-based food hubs. Zest Ubud and Dapur Usada, New Earth Cooking School takes you back to nature. More than just cooking up a feast of yummy food, the school offers an entire experience that connects food to mother Earth. Each class begins with a sharing session, and either a walking tour of the school’s permaculture gardens or foraging your ingredients from the forest garden. You’ll then move on to the kitchen, where you get to learn the secrets of plant-based and gluten-free cooking. Finish off your productive day by munching on New Earth’s “Plant-Powered Lunch Feast”, or by running amok on the giant swing and treehouse. For the aspiring pro chefs, the school also offers a plant-based internship which takes place over several weeks (and even months!).
The cooking class details: Classes are priced from Rp 500,000 to Rp 650,000 per person. Contact the school for more details and the upcoming classes.
New Earth Cooking School, Penatahan, Tabanan, p. +62 857 9267 6533, e. [email protected]
13. Plant-based culinary class at Moksa
At Moksa, one of Ubud’s very best vegan restaurants, executive chef Made Runatha introduces all that a plant-based lifestyle is about. You’ll start the session off by sipping on a welcome drink as you learn the fundamentals of plant-based cuisine. Then, into the kitchen you go! You’ll discover how to integrate more veggies into your diet, and basic kitchen skills like how to handle a knife and be creative with set recipes. With the chef’s guidance, you’ll tackle all the kitchen work yourself – preparing ingredients, blending different flavours, creating textures and letting your artistic side shine through food presentation. And of course, you can’t leave without getting a taste of your fine work!
The cooking class details: Cooking classes are priced at Rp 1,500,000 per person, and run weekly, so check Moksa’s event schedule for all the details.
Moksa, Ubud II Kutuh Jl Puskesmas, Sayan, p. +62 813 3977 4787, e. [email protected]
14. Sayuri Healing Food Academy
Sayuri Healing Food is not only home to one of the island’s best raw and vegan cafes, it’s also a cooking academy where you get to learn the tips and tricks of a raw kitchen. The Bali academy offers various intensive courses, like a vegan Balinese cooking class, a raw chocolate workshop, a two-day masterclass of vegan comfort food (think vegan butter and quinoa porridge), or a four-day raw food mastery course which includes fermentation techniques, balancing of flavours and raw dessert-making. And, if you’re an aspiring raw food chef, the academy also offers the “Raw Food Chef Training Level 1”, internationally accredited by the Raw Food Chef Alliance.
The cooking class details: Each class and workshop vary in theme, duration and pricing. Check Sayuri’s academy schedule for the upcoming classes.
Sayuri Healing Food, Jl Sukma Kesuma No. 2 , Ubud, p. +62 822 4048 5154 , e. [email protected]
15. Raw Food Bali
Let’s take a moment to think sympathetic thoughts for those who come to Bali and think avoiding Bali belly means avoiding raw food. What a rainbow of deliciousness they’re missing out on! Bali is in fact one of the greatest places on earth to tap into the incredible new world of raw food, in which fresh salads are just a tiny part of the picture, alongside delicious cakes, lasagnas, pizzas and more. So to combat the misconception, Raw Food Bali offers a comprehensive guide to raw food and raw living from professional raw food chefs. They even host retreats and of course, regular cooking classes.
The cooking class details: Classes and retreats are not held regularly, so contact Raw Food Bali directly for more information on any upcoming foodie events.
Raw Food Bali, Adiwana Svarga Loka Ubud, Ubud, p. +62 878 1260 2266, e. [email protected]
So grab an apron, pop on that chef’s hat, and we’ll see you in the kitchen!