Becoming Professional Female Chefs in Thailand: A Case Study of Chef Bo, Bo.lan Restaurant, Bangkok

  • Charoenchai Agmapisarn National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)
Keywords: Female, Chef, Restaurant, Work Motivation, Thai Cuisine


Despite females forming the majority of workers in the world’s restaurant industry, one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the world economy, gender stereotyping of their role within it remains persistent. This may particularly be the case in relation to the industry’s highest paid position: the position of chef, where females remain most notably underrepresented. This current study is based on the case study of Chef Duangporn Songvisara (nicknamed Bo) who was awarded the distinction of 2013 Best Female Chef in Asia. Highlighted by her culinary competence, her full-service Thai restaurant, Bo.lan Essentially Thai, was recognized as one of the top-fifty restaurants in Asia. Through a qualitative research process that consisted of a personal face-to-face interview conducted with Chef Bo together with an analysis of documented sources, this case study aims to investigate the motivations necessary to become a professional chef, how a female chef balances work and personal life, and to analyze how a female chef achieves success in the restaurant business, in particular in the area Thai cuisine. Chef Bo concluded that success in a chef’s career required passion and firm goals as work motivators.


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How to Cite
Agmapisarn, C. (2016). Becoming Professional Female Chefs in Thailand: A Case Study of Chef Bo, Bo.lan Restaurant, Bangkok. Social Science Asia, 2(2), 23-29. Retrieved from
Research Article