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Thy Tran spends much of her time listening, teaching, writing, cooking, traveling and, most importantly, eating. As a culinary writer and chef-instructor, she has 21 years of food industry experience across a wide diversity of disciplines, including restaurants, test kitchens, cookbook publishers, and culinary academies.

Trained as a professional chef, she established Wandering Spoon to provided cooking classes, culinary consultation, and educational programming for businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Thy is also the founder and director of the Asian Culinary Forum, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about Asian food around the world.

She co-authored The Essentials of Asian Cooking, Taste of the World and the award-winning guide, Kitchen Companion. Her work has appeared in numerous other books, such as Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Cultural Travel Guide, and she has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur and Fine Cooking.

In her creative projects, she focuses on book arts and literary nonfiction about food, the rituals of the kitchen, and the many ways eating and cooking both connect and separate communities around the world.

Awards & Honors

Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to complete a collection of essays on how food changes in families across place and time. (2007)

Harry A. Bell Grant awarded for four months of travel and culinary research in Asia and India. (2001)

Kitchen Companion named as a finalist for Food Reference Award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. (2000)

The Kitchen Companion received Best Reference Book Award (English Language) from the Salon International du Livre Gourmand in Périgueux, France. (2001)

The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center gave its Best Business Plan Award for the proposal to establish Wandering Spoon, a mobile cooking school. (1999)

Scholarship for professional culinary study received from the American Institute of Wine and Food. (1996)

Selected Clients

18 Reasons

Art Institutes of California - San Francisco

Avalon Publishing

Barron’s Educational Series

California Culinary Academy

Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture

Chez Panisse Foundation  |  Edible Schoolyard Project

Chronicle Books

Geneva Car Barn & Powerhouse

Jepson Herbarium  |  University of California, Berkeley

Leah’s Pantry

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Seafood Watch

Tante Marie’s Culinary Academy

Weldon Owen Publishing

Williams-Sonoma, Inc

Professional Affiliations

Amalgamated Printers Association

California Food & Justice Coalition

Chefs Collaborative

Community Food Security Coalition

San Francisco Professional Food Society  (board member)

Community Affiliations

C.E.O. Women (workshop instructor)

Kearny Street Workshop  (board member, writing instructor)

AVID, Galileo Academy  (writing tutor)

Project Read (adult literacy tutor)

By Betzy Delgado, age 12.

Pencil on napkin, 1992.