My name is Pheeraya Hill. Like all Thais, I have a short nick-name, which is Nid, and this is what everyone calls me. I came to the UK in 1992 and have lived in Somerset since then. I originally come from the North of Thailand near Chiang Mai, but moved to Bangkok when I was 18 to study for a diploma in marketing.
I have always been interested in food, and learned about cooking from my Mum and my Aunts. When I first came to the UK it was hard to find any Thai ingredients outside London. This led me to start growing things like chillies, kaffir lime and lemon grass, which I could not buy, and I now grow many Thai vegetables and herbs in my greenhouse and small polytunnel. Even so, some things are hard to get, so I have developed recipes which use English vegetables as a substitute.
I want people to know they can cook genuine Thai food in England and have been giving cooking demonstrations and classes for more than 10 years. Some of the venues I have worked include the Good House Keeping Institute (where I gave a demonstration to the Guild of Food Writers), the Eden Project and River Cottage. I have also given demonstrations at both the Bridport Food Festival and Dorset County Show for several years.
In addition, I taught Thai cooking at Yeovil College, where I completed a City & Guilds Level 4 Certificate (Stage One) in further education teaching.