Su-Mei Yu opened Saffron’s first location, Thai Grilled Chicken, in 1985 on India Street. With a focus on take-out dinning, this small eatery captures the authenticity of popular street vendors in Bangkok.
Due to the overwhelming success of the chicken shop, Yu opened her second Saffron location, Noodles and Saté, right next door, modeling the concept after the numerous small and informal take-out noodle restaurants found throughout Thailand. Both locations attract throngs of people and are widely recognized as some of San Diego’s premier Thai eateries.
Su-Mei Yu’s Thai heritage guided her to develop her brand of Thai food. Today, she annually returns to her homeland to research and collect recipes of traditional, authentic foods and methods of preparation.
As the host of the hit KPBS television program Savor San Diego, Su-Mei is a passionate advocate of the local San Diego food community and our area’s abundant producers and resources. Her weekly program takes viewers on a fascinating exploration of San Diego’s interesting gastronomical places, people and products.
Yu has also demonstrated cooking on Martha Stewart Living, Home Cooking on PBS, Home Matters, Cooking Live on the Food Network, Good Morning America and Today Show. She is a regular guest commentator for San Diego National Public Radio and has lectured at the American Institute of Wine and Food, The Culinary Historians of Southern California, The Culinary Institute of America and The International Association of Culinary Professionals. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine Magazine, Martha Stewart, Fine Cooking and many other national as well as local publications.