A Cooking Class In Ubud, Bali

A Balinese chef puts on a demonstration for her students at the Casa Luna Cooking School in Ubud, Bali

Confession: I spend most of my time thinking about food. I’ll often catch myself wondering how many hours until I can have my next meal, what I’m going to have for dinner, and if I smash out a session at the gym does that mean I can have ice cream for dessert?

I find joy in writing grocery lists, scanning the internet for new recipes, and experimenting with herbs and spices.

So when I went to Bali, I was ecstatic to try a cooking class.

A Taste Of Bali

Janet giving a demonstration to her students at the Casa Luna Cooking School

My friend and I enrolled in the Friday Beginners Class at the Casa Luna Cooking School in Ubud, Bali.

I was in Eat, Pray, Love territory and I had high expectations. Little did I know, this one class would change the way I prepared meals forever.

Casa Luna Cooking School is owned by Janet DeNeefe, who has been teaching Balinese cooking for 30 years. The school was also listed as ‘amongst the world’s best cooking schools’ in The Australian.

Things you must know before going to Bali

When we arrived we were given a refreshing hibiscus cold drink while we explored the tranquil grounds.

Local Flavours

Students visit a local market in Bali to gather ingredients for the Casa Luna Cooking School

Ingredients for the cooking school are sourced from local markets. The class we’d enrolled in didn’t include the market tour, however the use of each ingredient was explained to us. The Balinese make all of their meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients. They cook with coconut oil, which promotes the health of the heart. It is high in natural saturated fat which increases the healthy cholesterol in your body.

Once we had been given the theory behind the ingredients, it was our turn to help prepare them. You could do as much or as little as you liked, but I enjoyed getting hands on and crushing the hazelnuts that would eventually be made into a delicious peanut sauce.

In our class, we also learned how to make the rice dish Nasi Goreng, Chicken Satay, Krupuk (deep fried crackers), and the delectable ‘Fruit in Coconut Milk’ dessert. We also learned how to use shrimp paste, which certainly had an interesting aroma however added a fantastic flavour to our meal.

Taking Home A Piece of Bali

A chef at the Casa Luna Cooking School cooks chicken kebabs for the class

This wasn’t just a cooking class, it was a full immersion into Balinese culture. Topics such as spiritual practices were discussed, including why the Balinese put tiny baskets with assorted flowers and petals on their doorstep (they are essentially an offering meant to appease and please the various gods and demons of Balinese Hinduism), family life, and gender roles.

We were given a booklet at the conclusion of the class with the recipes we had learned. One of the best things about this class was that when I returned home, I invited my friends and family around to share what I had learned about Balinese culture over a delicious three-course meal.

You can learn more about the Casa Luna Cooking School by visiting their website: http://www.casalunabali.com/ 



  1. March 1, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Sounds like an amazing experience! I would love to go on the market tour – markets (especially in Asia) are so colourful and lively. How did your food end up tasting?

    • wayfaringkiwi
      March 1, 2017 / 8:45 am

      It was incredible- the way the Balinese cook is quite spectacular. I went to Bali feeling yucky and bloated from eating processed food and when I returned to New Zealand I had lost weight and my gut health was amazing from eating so much fresh produce. Going there truly changed the way I cook.

  2. March 1, 2017 / 9:10 am

    I love cooking classes, it broadens your horizon so much! And I always enjoy trying different tastes.

  3. March 1, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Seems we share a passion for food. The cooking class sounds very interesting. Nasi Goreng is also well known in the netherlands. Satay and krupuk as well. But I would be very eager to know how it tastes in Bali with fresh ingredients. I am sure it is much better than the dutch versions made from supermarket stuff.

  4. March 1, 2017 / 9:34 am

    I absolutely Loveeeeee Balinese cuisine 😍 My favorite is the Nasi Goreng 💗 Great post, I’d love to go back someday.

  5. March 1, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I love food too, and kitchen is my favorite place in the house. When I first tasted ‘Indonesian Chicken Rendang’ I was blown away that made me researched on how to cook it so I can replicate it at home. It tasted good however the authentic one is still the best. Would love to join this cooking class when we get the chance to visit Bali. I’m sure I will enjoy every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

  6. March 1, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    I feel like you need to have a really good sense of flavours when cooking, particularly Asian food! I struggle to make a good scrambled egg on toast! Cooking is something I would love to learn one day though.

  7. March 1, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    I should really take up cooking classes in places that I visit. I think it’s a window to a place’s culture and traditions. Shrimp paste is a favorite of mine, my Greek husband hates the smell of it but it’s an appetizer for me. Lol.

  8. March 1, 2017 / 11:51 pm

    Wow! So exciting I am headed to Bali next week and I definitely want to check this out. I love cooking. I went to a class in Thailand that was very similar and I really enjoyed it.

  9. March 2, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Looks amazing! Did you bring back some coconut oil? I brought tons from India and can’t remember life before it ❤

    Jacky 🌞

  10. Nicole
    March 2, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    I love cooking classes. Such a fun way to learn abou the culture

  11. August 27, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    Fantastic Website. Really enjoyed reading.

  12. August 28, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Awesome Blog. Really enjoyed reading.

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