Later, a session in the gym, or a kayak trip around the bay, is to be advised, if one is not to end up like Mr Ariana, who looks as though he thoroughly enjoys what he cooks But Bali is not the place to worry about such things. If you need a few more lengths in the pool, who cares?Balinese chicken satay Serves 6, making 36 pieces of satay1kg minced chicken 100g shallots, finely chopped 40g garlic, finely chopped 4 red chillies, thinly sliced 20g each of ginger and galangal, finely chopped 10g turmeric 1tsp each black pepper and nutmeg 2 cloves, ground 2tsp ground coriander 1tsp ground white sesame seeds Salt and pepper 4tbsp sunflower oil 36 lemongrass sticks (or fat skewers) 2 lime leaves, finely shredded 50g grated, unsweetened coconutHeat the oil in a frying pan on a low heat and saut?he shallots and all the spices, except the lime leaf and coconut, until aromatic and cooked. Mix paste and chicken, add lime leaf and coconut, then season.Shape a fistful of the mix around the last third of each lemongrass stick, twisting so there is slightly more at the end Grill for two minutes each side. Take off the heat, cool, and blend to a paste in a pestle and mortar. Staff are on hand to offer a lift in a buggy, lest the five-minute walk prove too arduous after a three-course lunch. Fortunately, students of the Four Seasons Cooking School are not required to arrive quite that early. When our group is ferried from the hotel compound, it is past 8am, and the markets are a writhing mass of all ages, rapidly negotiated by stallholders with baskets of a bewildering array of vegetables, fruits and spices.
There are a dozen types of banana, rice of all sorts and, of course, the obligatory plastic sandals and other gewgaws.At the fish market, containers of garoupa, mahi-mahi, halibut, yellow-fin tuna and shark are laced with bamboo sticks, and carried on shoulders from the shore through mud paths slimy with water. This is as local as produce gets.Back at the school, guests are served a light breakfast before learning how to prepare pepes ikan kakap (snapper), acar sayur (pickled veg), kue labu (pumpkin pudding) and satay lilit ayam (Balinese chicken satay). Mr Ariana steps in to demonstrate how a clove of garlic can be chopped in a trice, if a guest has, ahem, been taking rather longer. We sit down to eat the fruits of our labours at around 1.30pm. The staff have tidied up some efforts - securing a banana leaf around snapper is fiddlier than it sounds.Many of the herbs and spices are grown in the resort, whose gated villas open on to long paths overlooking the bay. The price for a second child joining is £175Sholto Byrnes gets leisurely lessons from the school of wok at Jimbaran Bay in BaliThe markets in Denpasar, on the southern coast of Bali, open at 4am. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Use when required.La Petite Ecole de Cuisine at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, 01844 278881, . £825 based on two adults and a child (aged seven to 16) sharing a suite Dinner and breakfast is included. Students take home their chef's whites and a copy of Raymond Blanc's book 'Foolproof French Cookery'. At home that night we ate Joseph's pasta, followed by his chocolate mousse. The experience has plainly inspired him to take more of an interest in cooking, although he says he still prefers eating.Tomato sauce for pastaServes 4 4 large, ripe good-quality tomatoes, chopped 1 clove of garlic, crushed 50g tomato pur?1 tsp oregano or choice of herb Salt and pepper to taste Olive oilPlace the olive oil in a pan, add the tomatoes, garlic, pur?and oregano, stir to mix them well, then bring to the boil. But he loved the 85 per cent stuff and continues to favour Green & Black's over Kit-Kats, so the legacy of his day at La Petite Ecole is positive, if expensive.At 3pm the parents returned (another couple had taken a Manoir-prepared picnic to Blenheim Palace while their two children beavered in the kitchens, which seemed immensely civilised) to watch certificates being dished out, and even better, to collect the fruits of the pupils' labour.