First Step to Becoming a PBS Icon

By Keli Dailey 12:37 p.m. April 22, 2013

The tom yum soups, grilled chicken satays and spicy wide noodles get all the attention at Saffron.

But look, over there by the front door of the casual 26-year-old Thai restaurant. There’s a quiet picture of Saffron’s chef-owner, the affable Su-Mei Yu. By her side is Julia Child.

And you could say Yu is following in the footsteps of the late PBS cooking pioneer.

On May 2, KPBS will air her new series, “Savor San Diego with Su-Mei Yu.” Scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Thursdays (with episodes repeating on Saturday afternoons), the show follows Yu as she sources sea-life and seasonal finds in San Diego’s abundant food kingdom. Then she cooks it.

Naturally there’s an uni shoot with Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products. (Gomes was on Andrew Zimmern’s TV show when he came to town, too.)

Yu’s half-hour show, which will air six episodes, was seeded by a $15,000 grant from KPBS “Explore San Diego” project.

Another Julia Child connection: Su-Mei Yu’s “Cracking the Coconut” (William Morrow, $30) was given the Julia Child Award for best first cookbook at the IACP Awards in 2001.

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