Chaingmai, Thailand-based, Chef Suwitra’s education is in Southeast Asian Studies and culinary arts. She interned at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California during her last semester at The Culinary of America, which expanded her knowledge on sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Her work is focused on providing culinary training to indigenous communities where agriculture is conducted by ecologically sound methods and enhanced opportunities for youth leaders to improve economically viable products for self-reliant communities. Her team is composed of highland ethnic Karen (Lapato Organic Coffee), organic farming community leaders (Mae Tha Organic), artist (YNP studio) as well as French restaurant chef (L’elephant restaurant).
In 2018, I traveled to West Kalimantan, Indonesia where I worked with local NGO Alam Sehat Lestari where healthcare is provided to local people who trade off their illegal logging in order to support reforestation projects. My role as a chef was working with local kitchen staff and strengthening awareness in nutritional quality in their local food ways.
My current research project in northern Thailand on “Enhancing Indigenous Chicken Identity” employs local sustainable food systems knowledge and culinary wisdom grounded in nutritional values, strengthening farmers’ ability to invent healthy products.