About Us

Through Paya Thai Cooking we hope to share our love and passion for Thai food, offering modern and stylish Thai catering, and simple, fun and friendly cooking classes.

Paya Thai Cooking was established in 2006 by Jirapan. The name 'Paya' translates as 'Auntie Ya' and is actually her mother's Thai nickname as she is known by all the local kids, so this is very meaningful for Jirapan. She was Jirapan's first inspiration for Thai food and continues to turn out amazing Thai dishes, never happier than when a few unexpected guests arrive to enjoy her food!

We bring a completely authentic approach to Thai food while being flexible and adaptive to the nature of ingredients and culinary issues in the UK. Authentic Thai food requires authentic Thai knowledge in our view, so all our Thai cooking classes and catering events are run by our team of Thai cooks.

Food and Thai culture also go hand in hand. When people meet in the South of Thailand, they don't ask "how are you?", but instead ask "have you eaten yet?"!

About Jirapan


Jirapan moved to the UK from the tropical island of Koh Phangan in Thailand in 2005. She has always had a passion for Thai food, cooking regularly since the age of 10 and heavily influenced by her mother, helping her to run food stalls on the island from a very young age!

Jirapan is passionate about all aspects of Thai food and is involved in many different cooking initiatives in the UK.  As well as regularly teaching her own Thai classes and running Thai catering events, she is a guest teacher at other cooking schools such as the Bertinet Kitchen in Bath and works as a consultant chef for Sharwoods on their Thai range.

Jirapan appears regularly in the media, she was one of the figureheads of the 'so much still to discover' Sharwoods television, print and online campaign and recently appeared as a judge on the UKTV food show 'Perfect - Thai'.