Elements Of Life: Important Information Update!

My newest book,The Elements of Life comes with a wheel that helps you determine your home element(s). Unfortunately, there are mistakes printed on the back of the wheel. Until the publisher can correct them, these are the right dates:
March 8, 1998
March 17, 2003
March 6, 2004

Thursday, January 15, 2009

About Me



My name is Su-Mei Yu. I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Although I was given a Thai name when I was a child and attended the prestigious Thai boarding school, Wattana Wittaya Academy, I chose to keep my Chinese name because my roots are Chinese.

I have lived in America for over four decades and have had many professions. Through it all, the single passion that remains with me all these years is my love of cooking. I love everything connected with cooking. I love to shop everyday to cook foods that are not only tasty but keep both my husband and me healthy. I love to put on a spread for family and friends. I love to read about food and learn of its links to our history, social, traditional and cultural paths. This is all due to my mother. She was not only a superb cook, but was equally passionate about food in all its aspects.

However, I was not as fortunate as my brother and sister who lived at home until their teenage years and were able to watch our mother cook and listen to her endless tales about food. Instead, I was put in a boarding school at the age of five, a school that cooked and served only Thai foods. Looking back, perhaps I too, was fortunate to be exposed to Thai cooking more than my mother’s northern Chinese Shantung style cooking. From my earliest encounter with Thai food, it has ensnared me with its vibrant and exuberant flavors. Today, my Thai friends honor me with their praises for my interest and knowledge about Thai cooking. They say that in everyway, I am more Thai than they are.

I have started this blog as a way to connect with you who are truly interested in the tradition of Thai cooking. I initially named my blog mae khroa, a Thai word meaning a cook. The words derived from mae=mother and khroa=kitchen. My husband, Bob chided me for picking a name so obscure that he is afraid no one will find the site. He might be right, but I am willing to take a chance. After all, one must admit that until recent years, no one knew what Pad Thai is.

The name mae khroa conveys my commitment to the spirit of Thai tradition. I hope one of these days, mae khroa will be a common expression and that people will connect it to the true spirit of Thai cooking.

Lastly, I like to name just a few of my credentials related to Thai cooking. I have written two cookbooks, “Cracking the Coconut” and “Asian Grilling.” “Cracking the Coconut” won the Julia Child award in 2000. My third book, “Elements of Life” will be published by Wiley and Sons and is to be released in October, 2009. I am in the process of writing a Thai Children’s Cookbook. Aside from these books, I have written numerous articles for food magazines and journals. I have also appeared on national television including the Food Channel, Martha Stewart, the Today Show and Good Morning America. I am a regular guest on our local television news channels. I have taught Thai cooking for 30 years. Last year, I co-founded a cooking school in Mae Rim, Thailand for children. It is called Prem Center Organic Cooking Academy by Su-Mei Yu.
Yes, I also own a restaurant, Saffron, the first Thai restaurant in San Diego, California.

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