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Photograph of Goya GriffithsGoya Griffiths, a St Helens College student originally from Thailand, is set to bring her creative culinary knowledge and family recipes to St Helens as she opens her own Thai Restaurant in Newton-le-Willows.

The 36-year-old adult learner joined St Helens College after moving to UK from her hometown of Chiang Mai, North of Thailand. Goya studied at a prestigious university in Bangkok before gaining employment as a Training Centre Manager for an oil and gas company.

After relocating to the UK, Goya enrolled at the College with the intention of developing her culinary skills at home but soon after starting the course, her talent and passion for the subject blossomed, with Goya keen to turn her new found hobby into a career and a business.

Inspired by her home country and heritage, Goya created the concept for her business; a Thai inspired bistro set in the heart of Newton-le-Willows where she can bring flavoursome, exotic, authentic Thai dishes and showcase her cuisine of to the borough.

Goya, who studied Level 2 Food Production and Cooking Diploma, says, "After moving to the UK I wanted to expand my culinary skills and after enrolling onto the course I developed a passion for cooking and soon decided to turn into a business. It made perfect sense!"

"It's been an exciting project to work on and the opening of the restaurant will be one of the proudest moments of my life. This opportunity would not have been available without my tutors and the College. My tutors are continuously supportive and are even menu testing ready for the big opening. It's been an amazing opportunity for me and I'm excited to be opening the doors of the restaurant and bringing real Thai food to St Helens very soon." Goya added.

Chiang Mai Bistro, named after the student's hometown, is set to open its doors early May.

For more information on Professional Cookery courses at St Helens College call 0800 99 66 99.

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