Palisa Anderson is a part of a much larger whole that is her family business. Their first Chat Thai restaurant was established in 1989, and since then they’ve expanded the operations to include nine eateries, a grocery store and travel agency; plus Palisa’s organic farm.
Spending her childhood in and around restaurants gave Palisa an appreciation for hospitality, a lifelong curiosity for food and ingredients and an easy rapport with people from all walks of life.
After studying Political Science and Liberal Arts at the University of Sydney she travelled and worked in Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo for 10 years before returning to Sydney to re-join the family business, much to the joy of her mother Amy, the family matriarch.
Palisa is passionate about every aspect of food and hospitality and loves meeting the challenges that small family businesses face. Being one of the directors of the business, her role is varied: from overseeing operations and creating menus to selecting varieties of heirloom open-pollinated herbs, fruits and vegetables to grow on her organically-certified Boon Luck farm. The farm supplies much of the produce to her family’s eateries, as well as to some of Australia’s finest diners.
Palisa is deeply immersed in the growing of organic produce, land regeneration and wilding of the Australian landscape as a means to reverse damage done by conventional growing methods. In 2018, she was invited to Copenhagen by Noma’s Rene Redzepi to cook at the MAD6 Symposium, about which she says: “it was a real highlight of my cooking career … a delight to be able to showcase Thai immigrant cuisine to the world and explain how culinary evolution happens with migration.”
Visit Chat Thai and Boon Cafe for more information.