About Me

My name is Leela Punyaratabandhu. I’m a writer. I have authored three books: Simple Thai Food (2014), Bangkok (2017), and Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill (2020).

From 2008 to 2018, I wrote about Thai cooking on, SheSimmers.com which was named the best Regional Cuisine blog by SAVEUR in 2012, the same year the Chicago Tribune named me one of the seven new food writers to know. My writing has appeared in CNN, Wall Street Journal, TASTE, Epicurious, Serious Eats, Food52, and Dill Magazine. In 2017, Epicurious named me of the 100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time. In 2018, my book, Bangkok, won the Art of Eating Prize which is awarded to one single best food book of the year. In 2020, my What Can’t Fennel Do? was included among the notable pieces in The Best American Food Writing 2020.

I live near Chicago, but I also have a home in Bangkok, the city where I was born and raised. My work focuses on Thai food, but I’m also interested in linguistics, philology, intercultural communications, and culinary history.

About The Epestle

The Epestle is my at-least-once-a-week newsletter on all things related to Thai food.

It’s mostly about my thoughts on things related to cooking (especially Thai cooking), my interviews with opinionated people who have something candid and thought-provoking as well as practical and useful to say. It also comes with lots of recipes, food tips, gardening tips, and ingredients and books I love.

The majority of the posts are for paid subscribers only, but occasionally I publish posts that are free for everyone.