How “In Search of Sanuk” is Teaching Disadvantaged Kids to Cook in Bangkok

By Mark Wiens 17 Comments
The Courageous Kitchen Project
The Courageous Kitchen Project

I met Dwight Turner before I came to Thailand.

He had mentioned, “if you ever come to Bangkok, let me know!”

A few months later, I landed in Bangkok.

Dwight and I have been great friends ever since, our passion for searching for and eating delicious food has always been a part of our friendship.

Along with being a food lover, Dwight has a passion for helping others.

He’s the founder of In Search of Sanuk, a volunteer charity organization based in Bangkok.

Throughout years of hanging out and bumming around Bangkok, I’ve had the joy of occasionally helping out and supporting Dwight in a variety of his projects.

His latest project revolves around the kitchen!

Before you continue reading, press play to watch the video now (it will give you a better understanding of this project).

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here:

For the longest time living in Thailand, neither Dwight nor I ever had a kitchen – if you rent a budget apartment in Thailand – there are usually no kitchen facilities.

It wasn’t until recently, when I got married and moved into a house (and that means there’s a kitchen), and Dwight also moved into a house, where he had a full kitchen facility available.

In Search of Sanuk
Teaching disadvantaged kids how to cook!

With a kitchen at hand, Dwight came up with “The Courageous Kitchen Project (โครงการครัวภูมิใจ), where he, along with some others (there are a number of chefs that have come to teach some dishes), teach disadvantaged kids to cook.

What could be better than the combination of helping others with food?

Not only do the kids learn about ingredients, recipes, and kitchen safely, but they also gain life skills like how to make plans, follow directions, and learn about proper nutrition.

When I got back to Bangkok from my latest trip, I was excited to hang out with Dwight, and spend an evening with one of his cooking classes.

After going over a recipe and planning the meal for the evening, Dwight gave the kids some money, and we headed off to the local neighborhood market to buy the ingredients they needed.

When we arrived home, the kids got straight to work, some of them preparing a refreshing watermelon passion fruit juice (Dwight’s very own secret recipe), and others began chopping up the chilies and garlic and washing the basil for the main dish.

It didn’t take long for the delicious aroma of stir frying pork and garlic to fill the room, along with plenty of excitement and fun.

When the food was ready, the kids set the table, and even took care to present the dishes in the most appealing and delicious way.

I thought it was incredible to see this group of kids, who all come from backgrounds of disadvantaged families, working together as a team to prepare dinner.

And even more than learning to cook great food, I could see the kids getting a boost of self confidence.

Dwight is doing a great job of helping make a difference in their lives and investing in their future.

For more specific details about The Courageous Kitchen project, click here.

Sitting down for the meal!
Sitting down for the meal!

The need…

The reality is this: Dwight is paying the rent for housing and living costs, not only for the kids he is teaching, but for their entire families and other disadvantaged families as well.

We need your help.

I’m writing about this and asking for your help, because this is a project that I’m supporting and I believe in too.

Make a Donation

Even a small contribution will help (and you’ll be investing in the future of disadvantaged kids).

I can personally vouch that I fully stand behind Dwight’s projects, and that any money you donate will go directly into helping disadvantaged families in Thailand.

One of the original kids Dwight helped out years ago (who I know as well), went from having nothing and little hope for the future, to being on his way to a college degree in engineering.

In Search of Sanuk is doing things to make a difference (and I’ve seen the results).

Make a donation here.

Thank you!

17 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    Nice blog. Thanks for share!!

  • sankar singh

    3 years ago

    nice share .

  • Brett Keown

    7 years ago

    I have been binge watching all of Marks old videos and came accross the video where he is sitting with you guys Dwight. I love the work you are doing. Teaching life skills is such a valuable resource for these kids. I made a donation and hope that your work continues in this area! I will be back in Thailand in November. Any change I can get the kids to make a meal for me that I can sponsor? I think it would be cool to have them plan and build something that is paid for and they earn payment for. If you are interested, let me know.

  • diego

    10 years ago

    really like your project, week done.
    Please let me know if I can help you out with some photo and filming skills.

    Best regards,

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hello Diego, good to hear from you. Thank you very much, I will let Dwight know.

  • Christian Beetz

    10 years ago

    hi mark, just made a little donation for this project..i hope you will find many more people..have great success… in Bangkok this years November…this city is really one of the most amazing ones I have ever been…

    good luck for this project from Bavaria


    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hi Chris, thank you so much, Dwight and I really appreciate your help. Good to hear you’ll be coming to Bangkok at the end of the year, let me know! Thanks again.

  • Caroline

    10 years ago

    Dwight is giving these kids a shot at a better life than they are living now … good on him for that!

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Thanks Caroline, I agree, he’s doing a great job!

  • Turkey’s For Life

    10 years ago

    Wow, what a great project – and anyone who has worked with kids in the kitchen will know how much the kids get out of it and the transferable skills it teaches them over and above the food and the cooking. Such an experience for these kids.

  • Ganesh

    10 years ago

    Really great initiative Mark! You have followers from all over the world and I hope this will make them help philanthropists like Dwight.
    Great job. Keep it up!!!

  • Kevin Brookes

    10 years ago

    I think it is a wonderful thing that underprivileged kids get to study and do cooking classes. It’s one way of being productive and helping them stay out of vices like smoking, drinking and even doing drugs. I am happy as well that more programs like these help kids one way or another,. There only used to be sports, now they can add cooking as well as learning martial arts.

  • Dwight

    10 years ago

    Thanks Mark for the push! The kids loved having you join the class, especially right after we’d just been learning to make krapow. They are experts now! Have already gotten a couple of donations from the push and people checking out the charity’s website. Your readers and youtube peeps have already donated $100 in about 24 hours, that’s pretty fast! Really appreciate the kind words and nudging folks to give!

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      You’re welcome Dwight, this is an awesome project!