A Passion for Thai Cooking
Sompon Nabnian was born on 24th January, 1968 in Phayao, a province in the north of Thailand. His village was in the countryside and he was born in the kitchen while his mother was busy preparing the sticky rice for breakfast. His father was a butcher so there was always a lot of cooking going on around him. He had many jobs as a young boy including working in the rice fields, looking after buffalo and working in a tobacco factory. But whenever Sompon had the chance he would be in the kitchen helping with the cooking.
At the age of 11 he decided to become a novice monk as it was the only way he could get an education. Whilst still a novice he moved to Chiang Mai and ended up in Wat Phra Sing. After 9 years in the temple he had completed his education and also learnt to speak English. He did not want to become a monk so he left the temple and became a guide. As a guide he took tourists on treks which involved, amongst other things, cooking 3 meals a day in the jungle.
Sompon lived in England where he could get first hand experience of cooking Thai food abroad. He realised how widely available most Thai ingredients are and what foreign ingredients can be used to substitute Thai ones.
When he returned to Chiang Mai he studied Thai cooking and in 1993 he opened the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, the first cooking school in Chiang Mai.
Ever since then he has devoted his time to teaching Thai cooking and the school has gone from strength to strength. Despite running the best cooking school in Chiang Mai, Sompon is always concerned with quality and is continually improving and adding to his courses.
Sompon's latest cooking project has been up-grading the recipe book that accompanies the courses as well as making it into full colour. He is also publishing his own cook book 'A Passion for Thai Cooking'.