What Am I Doing in Thailand?

03 May 2016

As I write this to you, I am sitting in a car for a three-hour ride on the last leg of a very long journey from LA to Thailand that began yesterday. My journey getting here really started about a year ago…so let me take you back to July of 2015.

I’m walking into Matthew Kenney’s brand new culinary school that he had recently opened on Abbott Kinney. The marble stone tops, students listening to a lecture by Brendan Brazier about sports nutrition, food in the dehydrators, and an incredibly inspiring atmosphere stood before me. It was at this exact moment that I realized I wanted to go to the Matthew Kinney Culinary School and learn more about plant based cooking.

Cut back to right now, May 1, as I sit in a traffic jam leaving Bangkok after two long flights (and missing my original flight the day before). I’m going to Evason Six Senses hotel in Hua Hin to study Fundamentals of Plant Based Cooking for the next 27 days.

If you know anything about me, then you know that I love cooking. However, it was not always like this and I basically learned to love it by trial and error. I never went to school, never learned the proper chopping techniques by a teacher, and have never felt super confident in cooking for large parties. Yes, I’m great at making food look pretty and taste great, but I’m not great at feeling really confident in making recipes outside of my comfort zone. So there’s this, paired with the fact that I love to learn! Any chance I get I will take a course on anything food or health related, yoga, and now cooking.

Matthew is a good friend of mine and I expressed interest in going to his Thailand school. He was a bit surprised I wanted to do this one over Venice, however for me, it was an incredibly unique opportunity to study plant-based food in a place that I love. Random fact: I used to live in Bangkok when I was modeling. If you want to check out what my modeling days were like, click here.

It was about a month ago that I finally decided to pull the plug and commit. (Another random fact: I have a hard time committing to things past a few weeks out.) So here I am, sitting in this car in Thailand about to go do something that I am insanely excited about.

The day before I left, one of my friends said, “I could never do a journey that long.” It made me laugh because I realized in that moment: the longer and harder the journey, the more rewarding it will be. So to have left my cat, my apartment, my friends, and travelled a very long 25 hours to get here, I know the journey of letting go will be worth it. This is exactly the break both mentally and physically that I need after my book launch. It’s exactly what I need in terms of stepping up my cooking game. And it’s exactly what I need to have the creativity and inspiration to start writing my second book.

Check out my first vlog of the trip!

So when you ask, why am I in Thailand for one month? My answer is simple: to experience all the beautiful things that life has to offer. To meet new people, make new connections, to rest and rejuvenate my mind and body, oh yea, and to go to one of the coolest cooking schools there is (at least to me!).

I’ll be posting a lot on my website about my experience, as well as doing some vlogs on YouTube, and of course my usual Snapchat (@nikkirsharp) and Instagram. So if you’re curious to see what Thailand is like, what the course consists of, how the COOKED course is different than the raw and if it’s worth it to take, then I highly recommend subscribing to the blog or any or all of my various social media channels.

It’s gonna be an exciting month and I can’t wait to share this all with you!

Lots of love,


PS- Have any of you taken any of the MK Culinary courses? Would love to know your thoughts on if you’ve done his, or any others of if you’ve been looking into a class like this. Comment below so I can learn about it!

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