Dee Buizer – Chef/Owner, Senae Thai Bistro
When Chef Dee Buizer opened Senae Thai Bistro in July 2016 until she retired in 2021, her mission was to demonstrate that Thailand boasts a high level of authentic, beautiful cuisine.
She describes her hometown Bangkok as a true melting pot. Its central location is a blending of cultures and food traditions from surrounding provinces and inspires her own cooking.
Chef Dee opened her first restaurant in Berkeley, California in 1987. She opened various restaurants throughout the years in each city she lived in, including San Francisco, Bethesda, Maryland and Scottsdale.
In 2017, Senae Thai Bistro was awarded the Thai SELECT honor by the Thai Ministry of Commerce and Trade, which recognizes Thai restaurants around the world for their authenticity and quality. The following year, Chef Dee was one of 32 chefs from a pool of nearly 20,000 Thai restaurants around the world to be invited to Thailand’s largest Asian Food Expo.
Her passion goes beyond food. She’s given back to the community through multiple initiatives including donating meals to local doctors and nurses during the height of the pandemic and promoting sustainability by sourcing fresh ingredients locally. For example, through a partnership with the University of Arizona Community and School Gardens Program, the children at Manzo Elementary School grew the herbs and Asian vegetables served in many of her dishes.
Buizer is also grateful for what Tucson has given back to her.