Set on the fringe of the pretty Adelaide Hills town of Stirling, the Sticky Rice Cooking School instantly tosses you into an exotic world of aromatic spices, hot woks and scented candles. The popular school, just 20 minutes from the centre of the city, was founded by passionate foodie Claire Fuller in 2008 and offers hands-on teaching in a variety of spicy cuisines from Thai and Indian to Vietnamese. Classes are taught by local chefs and masters of Asian cuisine (think David Thompson and Ty Bellingham) and conclude with a sumptuous banquet-style feast, accompanied by local wines.
Those who love culinary adventures now have even more reason to head up the hill to Sticky Rice. Three luxurious villas have just been completed on the property, enticing guests to extend their stay and escape into their own private paradise. Yesterday was the launch party. Beautiful finger food was whipped up by the chefs, guests mingled with drinks on the lawn and there were tours of the new accommodation. The lovely balmy evening, unseasonal for this time of year, added to the atmosphere and helped transport us all to Asia.
The gorgeous villas are architecturally designed with floor-to-ceiling glass and the environment in mind; all have solar power and under-floor hydronic heating. Stunning designer furniture adds a wow factor while the hanging lamps and remote-control block out blinds create drama and a romantic mood. Those who love to cook, however, will be won-over by the dreamy Jag kitchens.
Each of the three villas has a unique style and ambience. The Japanese inspired Yoko is all clean lines and calm, complete with shoji screen doors and two private gardens, one with a contemporary tea house and a Japanese maple.
Soothing music and serenity are only part of the attraction in the Zen villa. There’s a stand-alone bath in the open plan bedroom that boasts a sumptuous king size bed and an indoor shower under the branches of an ancient pine tree. It’s sleek black-and-white with contemporary black leather couches and a state-of-the-art kitchen designed for private cooking classes. The sweeping island bench can seat 10.
Bali is my favourite. There’s a warm feeling with rich colours, antique carved wooden doors and a stone bath. In the courtyard, a Balinese hut with a giant day bed is perfect for lazing on, and out the back in the tranquil bamboo garden is a Buddha water feature.
It’s the little touches that I love: the Japanese tea set in Yoko, the elephant-patterned throw in Bali, and the sheer black curtain that separates the bedroom in Zen, giving an intimate feel. Guests receive a welcoming fruit platter and bottle of wine, and provisions for a cooked breakfast. Gorgeous Asian cookbooks are strewn open to delicious recipes on benches and side tables, begging to be used, but I’d be tempted to spend the day mooching about in a fluffy robe after a deep, relaxing bubble bath, and flicking through the pages.
Claire offers various Cook & Stay packages that incorporate a class at the school, and there’s the option of an Asian pantry bag for those who want to cook up their own storm. Guests may prefer to order an Adelaide Hills produce platter, engage a personal chef to whip up dinner for two or perhaps deliver a private cooking class in their villa. Alternatively, they can join a gourmet tour of the nearby markets and farm gates with a local guide before returning to cook lunch with a chef in one of the villas.
It’s the perfect break for keen cooks and food lovers who enjoy exotic cuisines, and a wonderful base to explore the cosy pubs, cellar doors and restaurants of the Adelaide Hills, which are currently exploding in a show of autumn colour.News Reviews
Adelaide Hills Sticky Rice Cooking School Unveils New Luxury
The Adelaide Hills is a popular tourist spot and we have much to offer up here in the way of scenery, food and some wonderful wineries. While there are tons of charming B & B’s, guest cottages and three star hotel/motels, we have been a little short of luxury beds, with fairly limited options for those who want to really spoil themselves – or someone else. My friend Clare, of the hugely popular Sticky Rice Cooking School, has put on her clever pants and done something about that!
Clare and her husband established Sticky Rice, in Stirling – just ten minutes up the freeway from the city, in 2008 and her school has become something of a mecca for food lovers, both local and visiting. She offers a range of cooking classes which encompass all the Asian cuisines and also classes on Spanish, Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. All the classes offer excellent tuition by highly experienced chefs, but she aims to teach more than just a recipe or technique. Clare wants her clients to come away from her school with new skills and culinary achievements, but also with a deeper understanding of their chosen cuisine and full of inspiration from the carefully designed and crafted surroundings she has created.
With this in mind, she has extended the experience by creating three stunning luxury villas on the premises. Each villa is architecturally designed, individually styled and seamlessly blends their distinctive interiors with the private walled gardens by the use of floor to ceiling glass. Guests can choose from the tropically inspired “Bali”, the stylish monochromatic “Zen” or the clean lines of the Japanese inspired “Yoko”. Each is fabulously appointed with correlating, comfortable furnishings, underfloor heating, seductive bathrooms and truly exceptional kitchens.
As is only fitting in accommodation attached to a cooking school, the kitchens in each of these villas is, as far as I was concerned at least, enviable. Fully fitted out with top-of-the-range appliances from Electrolux, Clare has been a little surprised to find that many of her guests arrive with large boxes of produce and announce that they are staying in for the evening to cook in the kitchen of their dreams!
Of course, for those who are a little more inclined to be indulged (like me) there are plenty of great dining options in the Adelaide Hills and in the immediate surrounds of Sticky Rice, or it is a very short drive down the hill to Adelaide’s many fabulous restaurants. Alternatively, take a gourmet tour or one of Clares fascinating classes, completely immerse yourself in the experience (along with a glass or three of fine South Australian wine) and amble casually back to your villa to relax and rest, possibly even waking up unsure of what country you are really in.
These absolutely gorgeous villas fill an accommodation gap in the Adelaide Hills and their design and attention to detail is a credit to Clare and her family. Her vision has created a truly landmark attraction which adds significantly to the appeal of the Adelaide Hills as a holiday destination – and, I suspect, not just for those from out of town.News Reviews
Adelaide Hills Accommodation News Reviews Uncategorized
Our Sticky Rice Cooking School classes are the
#1 Choice Nationally
as reported by National Journalist
- Christina Pfeiffer
- April 14, 2012
Read the full top 10 list here at News.com.au
Top Mother’s Day present trips
- Christina Pfeiffer
- April 14, 2012 7:00PM
FROM spas to cooking classes, food and wine tours to wildlife experiences, spend time with Mum and show her that she’s appreciated on Mother’s Day this year.
1 Cook An Exotic Meal in the Adelaide Hills
The Sticky Rice Cooking School in South Australia has two cooking classes on Mother’s Day Stars of Siam and Middle Eastern Mezze. Learning to prepare an exotic meal will get Mum’s creative juices flowing and eating what you’ve both created together is as much fun as cooking it. Gift Vouchers are also a most popular choice and are valid for a full 12 months from purchase. Details here …
The school’s Thai, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Japanese and Moorish Moroccan cooking classes are taught by chefs including Kurma Dasa and Katrina Ryan.
Classes cost $145.
Ph (08) 8339 1314 or see stickyricecookingschool.com.au
Food Blogger Not Quite Nigella visited us some time ago but we forgot to put up the link sorry!News Reviews
The Hungry Australian (recently wrote this article after being a guest at Sticky Rice Cooking School)
I love watching people cook.
People always do things differently to me, in ways I had never considered. So I always learn about something new – a new ingredient, a new technique, a new cooking style – and it sends me straight back to my kitchen feeling inspired and energised.
So I was delighted to take part in the Thai Seafood Banquet class at Sticky Rice Cooking School a couple of weekends ago.
Sticky Rice Cooking School is run by Claire Fuller, who decided there was a place for a cooking school that offered more than a celebrity chef demonstration without the formality of a professional cooking course. Her school offers people a chance to really get their hands dirty, to learn about the culture as well as the food, to leave knowing where to buy the ingredients used (and which brands are recommended) and exactly how to cook the featured dishes at home.
Chefs at the school include David Thompson (ex Darley Street Thai, author), Katrina Ryan (ex Rockpool), Kurma Dasa (Australia’s vegetarian guru, author), Kelly Lord (Spirit House), Genevieve Harris (ex Nediz), Ali Seedsman (ex Magill Estate and Universal Wine Bar), Jordon Theodoros (Aquacaf), Brian Smith and Allie Reynolds.
Classes are typically four hours long and usually showcase a type of cuisine - Asian or Middle Eastern – or a particular country’s cuisine. So classes are offered in Thai, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Laos, Cambodian, Malaysian, Japanese, Indonesian Indian, Moroccan and Lebanese food.
I’d chosen the Thai Seafood Banquet class as I was keen to learn more about Thai ingredients and cooking techniques. I adore Thai food – we actually honeymooned in Koh Samui – and I cook Thai seafood salads and curries (usually from pastes) at home a lot during Summer. So I was curious to see if my take on Thai food was close to authentic.
The class was taught by Chef Yukiko Anschutz (ex Shiki at The Hyatt), who was encouraging and informative. At the beginning of each session she took us step by step through the recipe, explaining how the individual ingredients should be prepared. Here she is below teaching us one of her useful tips - use a teaspoon to peel ginger rather than a knife or peeler as they remove too much of the ginger with the skin.
Read the full article at the Hungry AustralianReviews
“Sticky Rice has succeeded so quickly
because it does things very well. The
kitchen is superbly equipped and there
is no stinting on ingredients. Fish roe,
prime salmon, perfectly ripe avocados,
pickled ginger and decorative radish
sprouts are all on hand.”
Sticky Rice Cooking School was on TV again on Saturday evening, this time as a feature on the brand new launch episode of SA life- Channel 7.
What a fabulous opportunity we were given to broadcast news of our new outdoor area and highlight some of our delicious new menus.
For anyone who missed it here is a link to the footage and SA Life Website.
Watch again next week at 5.30pm to see Tony Carroll from Jolley’s boathouse being interviewed and then check out details of his master class with us on Aug 13th where a small group of keen cooks get to cook for the day with Tony and wow their invited guests over dinner here at the Cooking School.Events News Reviews
Click to enlargeNews Reviews