Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, known to most simply as Chef Bee, was born in the small town of Ban Sankhohiang, located in the Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand, bordering Laos and Myanmar. Born to farmers, he developed an appreciation for culinary arts early on from his mother who taught him about growing his own food, the different techniques of preserving and preparing food, as well as the vast array of flavors within the Northern Thai culture. Chef Bee spent his childhood summers at his grandparents’ home in the nearby village of Ban San Macade where under his entrepreneurial grandmother’s guidance he learned the art of making Thai street food that she traded and sold at the local village market.
At the age of 18, Chef Bee came to America to study at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After UCF, Chef Bee moved to Miami where he pursued his passion for cooking. He worked at several Miami area restaurants before landing a sushi chef position at Nobu in Miami Beach. While training under the tutelage of some of the country’s finest chefs, Chef Bee learned what it took to run a kitchen and maintain the highest standards. Following Nobu, Chef Bee went on to work under Chef Kevin Cory at Siam River before opening his own restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005. Oishi, which means “delicious,” quickly became a favorite of diners and critics.