About Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
Chef Pranee first learned Thai cooking as a child in Phuket, Thailand where her mom was a village chef famous for her Hua Mok (fish cake). By age 12, she had become the substitute cook for the family. After completing school, she worked for the Public Health Department and and became a certified midwife, but continued to help on the weekends with her family’s food business.
Then Pranee met and married Robert Halvorsen, an economics professor at the University of Washington on sabbatical in Thailand. She moved with him to Seattle, leaving her family and homeland behind—but not her mortar and pestle. Filling her kitchen with Thai herbs, spices and cooking equipment helped her to feel at home in Seattle, and soon her new American friends were asking her for Thai cooking lessons.
“The best way to enjoy Thai food is to cook and share it with friends,” she says. “I loved the idea of having a good time, socializing with people and sharing food the way it’s done in Thailand.”
Today, Pranee is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and Women Chefs & Restauranteurs (WCR), a caterer, tour guide and cooking instructor whose popular classes in Thai cuisine are sellouts throughout the Northwest. Over the past seven years, her lively public speaking skills and enthusiasm and passion for teaching have caught fire. She is a culinary educator at A Chef’s Kitchen, Bayview School of Cooking, Bella Kitchen & Home, and PCC Cooks and Holland America Line.
Pranee returns to Thailand every year to collect and preserve recipes from her family and her village. She also leads culinary trips to Thailand where she teams up with other Thai chefs to provide an opportunity for westerners to experience Thai food and culture in Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Phuket.
Pranee has been featured in a variety of cookbooks, magazines, newspapers, and on radio and television. Visit her Press Room for more information.