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Pathitta (Jimmy) Wongwang-James

I started teaching in 2003.

Bio

I'm a rice farmer's daughter and worked on the farm for many years. In my late teens, my father became ill and I took over the running of the farm for a couple of years. I have enjoyed cooking since I was a child. I love nature and gardening and have been growing my own produce since I was a child. As a young adult I did several jobs in Bangkok and overseas, including in Australia, Malaysia and the UK. When I prepared food for parties, people often said I should open my own restaurant but I had no desire to do that.

What was your inspiration to get into cooking, food and teaching how to cook?

Back in Bangkok, I took advantage of the government 'Thai kitchen to the world' scheme to promote Thai food internationally and I was able to undertake a Thai cooking course sponsored by the government. I then started working part-time in two different Thai cooking schools. I think it was then that I realised I really wanted to start my own Thai cooking school. I think I have always loved sharing my knowledge and skill in cooking but the course helped me to do that in a more formal way.

What excites you the most about your work?

Meeting new people, sharing my knowledge with them and seeing them enjoy what they do with me.

How do you select the menu for you classes?

What my customers want, any special needs (are they vegetarian/vegan, do they have any allergies etc) and using seasonal produce wherever possible.

What do you love the most about cooking?

Pretty much any dish which involves using fresh herbs from my garden.

Additional information

I also teach fruit and vegetable carving, Thai flower arranging (lotus petal folding), kratong making at Loi Kratong and soap carving.