'Food brings people together' - the Thai cook sharing her culinary skills with South Shields

Thai cooking enthusiast, Santana Adams, is bringing people together as she shares her culinary skills in South Shields.

By Sarah Sinclair
Saturday, 03 August, 2019, 06:00

Originally from Thailand, Santana, who has lived in South Shields for more than 10 years, launched her cookery classes in March 2019, after noticing a lack of Thai food culture in the region.

She now runs classes three times a week from her home on King George Road in Harton, where she lives with her husband and two children, aged 7 and 4.

People have travelled from all over the North East to learn how to cook her authentic Thai food such as beef Massaman curry, Pad Thai and chicken satay.

Thai cook Santana Adams making a Thai meal in the kitchen of her South Shields home. Picture by Frank Reid

“I feel there isn’t much of a Thai food culture in the North East, particularly in South Shields,” said the 40-year-old, who grew up on the outskirts of Bangkok.

“I love cooking and my mother used to run a street food restaurant back in Thailand so that was my inspiration.”

She explained: “As a child, I saw my mum getting up at 5 o'clock every morning and going to the fish market. We would make hundreds of Pad Thai dishes every day.

“You don’t get that same experience when you live here, so I would like to share that with other people.”

Thai cook Santana Adams making a Thai meal in the kitchen of her South Shields home. Picture by Frank Reid

For Santana, who used to work in fashion merchandising, running her own cooking classes is a dream come true.

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“It’s my passion and this is something I have been planning for a while,” she said. “It takes me back to my childhood.”

As well as getting their hands dirty trying out new recipes, Santana teaches her students about Thai ingredients and recommends her favourite brands so they can continue cooking at home.

“Thai food can be quite different to other cuisines, it’s quite unique,” she said.

Thai cook Santana Adams making a Thai meal in the kitchen of her South Shields home. Picture by Frank Reid

But she likes to think the sessions are more than just a cookery lesson.

“Food brings people together,” she added. “It’s an experience, a way to spend time with friends and family - and they get to eat all the food at the end.” Santanta offers two set menus, including a pescatarian option. Find out more on the Thai Home Cooking North East Facebook page or contact Santana on 07733545025.

Thai cook Santana Adams making a Thai meal in the kitchen of her South Shields home. Picture by Frank Reid
Students learning to cook Thai cuisine
Students enjoy their Thai cuisine after the class