Academy Founder

Su-Mei Yu is the author of Cracking the Coconut, which won an IACP Cookbook Award in 2000 in the First Book Category, and Asian Grilling. She is chef-owner of the acclaimed Saffron restaurant in San Diego, California.

Su-Mei is one of Southern California's most popular cooking instructors, offering classes filled with Thai cooking techniques, history, stories and recipes researched during annual visits to her native Thailand. She has written for numerous publications, including Fine Cooking magazine, Food and Wine magazine, and the prestigious British journal Petits Propos Culinaire.

Of Chinese heritage, Su-Mei Yu was born and reared in Bangkok. At the age of fifteen, she moved to Kentucky and then to California, where she received her Master's degree in Social Work from San Diego State University. Today, her ongoing desire to re-create the foods and cultural traditions of her youth has made her a foremost authority on authentic Thai cuisine.

In November 2007 Yu established the Three Generation Cooking and Farm Academy as its Senior Advisor. Su-Mei has painstakingly designed the overall framework of the Three Generation Cooking and Farm Academy. She adheres to strong traditional beliefs that will not be misguided or thwarted. Stringent guidelines have been implemented in staff training, class layout and procedures, farm productivity, cooking implements, recipes, and the environmentally friendly discipline of using "NO" plastic.

This purposeful vision by Su-Mei for the Three Generation Cooking and Farm Academy has set us apart from all existing schools in this area and opens us to continued development that strives to bring Thai traditional ways of life back into day to day living, using seasonal and regional produce, cooked in the manner of her ancestors.

From her home in America, she offers continual support to staff to create and oversee the implementation and growth of the program and to assure it stays within the framework she has envisioned. All recipes and class curriculums have been designed by Su-Mei which students are able to enjoy, learn by, and take back to their homes to share with family and friends. Su-Mei will be offering signature cooking classes to all that are interested in her culinary skills on her annual visits to Chiang Mai.

As Three Generation Cooking and Farm Academy's Senior Advisor, Su-Mei Yu’s passion for cooking and community activism brings to the Three Generation Community for Learning an abundance of resources, talent and vision.


Traidhos Three-Generation Cooking Academy wants everyone to explore new tastes and develop a love of cooking traditional, sustainable foods.


Traidhos Three-Generation Cooking Academy in collaboration with Traidhos Farm, works with students and adults to create a seasonal feast, incorporating a harmonious blend of Thai flavours, traditional skills and knowledge of cooking sustainably.

Staff Profile