MEET the chef...Waraporn Harris, Thai Siam (Pen and Wig),Newport.

How long have you been a chef and where did you train?

I have been a chef for seven years, I moved to Britain in 2004 and learned my trade at my aunts Restaurant in Scotland.

This was very informative as I was taught to cook the traditional Thai dishes I learned as a child but for European tastes.

I moved to Newport in 2009 and worked as a chef in a local Thai restaurant until recently opening Thai Siam.

Why did you decide to follow this career path?

As a young girl in Thailand, I was taught to cook by my mother.

I developed a passion for cooking at a very early age. I could never imagine myself doing any other kind of work.

What is the ethos behind the dishes you create?

I want to bring the authentic tastes of Thailand to a wider audience.

The dishes I create come from all regions of Thailand, my menu includes dishes from the north as well as central and southern Thailand.

Each region uses its own unique flavours and ingredients. Even popular dishes such as Thai Green Curry and stir fries can vary greatly depending on where it is cooked.

Who is your foodie hero?

It has to be my mother in Thailand, she taught me so much and really sparked my interest in cooking, also my aunt when I came to Britain for teaching me how make the dishes more appealing to westerners, she also taught me to produce vegetarian versions of the meals which are far more popular here in Britain than at home.

What do you think about the way food, restaurants and chefs have become sexy in recent years?

I think it is a very good thing because it raises awareness and promotes interest in food from different cultures.

People like Gordon Ramsey and his recent programme located in Malaysia and Thailand can only benefit people trying to promote their own cultural food.

You've got the night off to spend a quiet evening at home and you want something to eat - what would you have?

I cook traditional dishes at home that would be a little too spicy to serve in the restaurant.

I like simple dishes that I ate as a child such as noodles, stir fries and soups.