Chef Nong was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1941. The oldest of five children, she has two brothers and two sisters.
Nong began cooking at age 12 with her mother. Her family had very little money. She wanted her brothers and sisters to have a good education-- better than hers -- and knew they would need her support. So every day, she walked to the little corner market to purchase vegetables, meat, and other ingredients and brought them home to cook for her family.