Since 2008, she has written about Thai cuisine on her cooking blog, SheSimmers.com which was named the best Regional Cuisine blog in 2012 by Saveur Magazine. Also in 2012, Leela was named by the Chicago Tribune one of the seven new food writers to know. Leela’s writing has appeared in CNN, Wall Street Journal, Serious Eats, Food52, TASTE, and Dill Magazine. In 2017, she was named one of the 100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time by Epicurious. In 2018, her book, Bangkok, won the prestigious Art of Eating Prize which is awarded to one single best food book of the year.
Dividing her time between Chicago and Bangkok, Leela’s work focuses on Thai food and Thai restaurants both in the United States and Thailand. She has conducted numerous interviews with chefs, restaurateurs, and Thai cuisine experts in both countries.
Leela has an academic background in linguistics, epigraphy, and philology. She currently focuses her research on the culinary history of Thailand.