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Dr. Itsara Pracharoenwattana (BSc Hons. Biological Science, MSc Plant Biotechnhology, PhD Plant Molecular Biology) was born into the restaurant trade in Thailand. Itsara’s mother is famous in Thailand for her cooking and she even has TV appearances to her credit. Itsara’s father, who has a number of famous signature dishes to his credit, taught him from the age of nine to cook from the wok in the family restaurant.

Itsara has not followed the family trade until now having studied a Bachelor of Science at the top Thai University before winning the government scholarship award to study aboard in year 2000. He studied Masters degree in Plant Biotechnology at the University of Reading in the UK. Whilst studying in the UK to achieve his Masters, he worked as part time in the restaurant in Reading and in Henley on Thames. Year 2001, Itsara went on to achieve a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology at the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh in the UK. During this period he Itsara developed significant skills as a professional Chef by working in few restaurants. He had also conducted public demonstrations of Thai Cooking and food carving at food expos as well as teaching Thai Cookery at the ‘Edinburgh Food and Wine School’.

In September 2005, Itsara came to Perth to work for the University of Western Australia ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology as a Post Doctoral Research Associate in Plant Biochemistry. Itsara have been internationally recognised for his science work (see below for Itsara’s publication). Year 2006 he was selected to present his research to Julie Bishop (Australian Minister of Science and Education).

After living in Perth for some time Itsara came to realise that there were not enough good restaurant to suit demand of people seeking high quality food and service whom also revel in the joy of the total dining experience.

Year 2007 Itsara and Cresswell began planning for the opening of thier new restaurant. It wasn’t until mid 2009, that they found the right premises for their grand plan. It was to be on Stirling Highway, Nedlands. Itsara Restaurant opened Dec 2009. The restaurant is named after chef Itsara which translates from thai to ‘Independence and Freedom’. This is in reference to ITSARA restaurant is being unique from others.




















Selected International Publications:

Pracharoenwattana I., Cornah J.E. and Smith S.M. (2005) Peroxisomal citrate synthase catalyses an essential step in the respiration of fatty acids during germination of Arabidopsis seeds and is required to break dormancy. Plant Cell, 17, 2037-2048. (Highlighted Article in this issue) (Impact Factor: 10.7)

Kunze M., Pracharoenwattana I., Smith S.M., Hartig, A. (2006) A central role for the peroxisomal membrane in glyoxylate cycle function. BBA – Molecular Cell Research 1763, 1441-1452. (Impact Factor: 5.0)

Pracharoenwattana I., Cornah J.E., Smith S.M. (2007) Arabidopsis peroxisomal malate dehydrogenase functions in beta-oxidation but not the glyoxylate cycle. Plant Journal 50, 381-390. (Impact Factor:7.3)

Footitt S., Cornah J.E., Pracharoenwattana I., Bryce J.H., Smith S.M. (2007) The Arabidopsis 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase-2 (kat2-1) mutant exhibits increased flowering but reduced reproductive success. Journal of Experimental Botany 58, 2959-2968 (Impact Factor: 5.0)

Pracharoenwattana I. and Smith S.M. (2008) When is a peroxisome not a peroxisome? Trends Plant Sci. 13, 522-525 (Impact Factor: 10.7)

Cousins A.B., Pracharoenwattana I., Zhou, W., Smith S.M. and Badger, M.R. (2008) Peroxisomal malate dehydrogenase is not essential for photorespiration in Arabidopsis but its absence causes an increase in the stoichiometry of photorespiratory CO2 release. Plant Physiol. 148, 786-795 (Impact Factor: 7.0)

Pracharoenwattana I., Zhou, W. and Smith S.M. (2009) Fatty acid beta-oxidation in germinating Arabidopsis seeds is supported by peroxisomal hydroxypyruvate reductase when malate dehydrogenase is absent. Plant Mol Biol. 72, 101-109 (Impact Factor: 4.3)

Pracharoenwattana I., Zhou W., Keech O., Francisco P.B., Udomchalothorn T., Tschoep H., Stitt M., Gibon Y. and Smith S.M. (2010) Arabidopsis has a cytosolic fumarase required for the massive allocation of photosynthate into fumaric acid and for rapid plant growth on high nitrogen. Plant J. 62, 785–795 (Impact Factor: 7.3)

Tomaz T., Bagard M., Pracharoenwattana I., Lindén P., Lee C.P., Carroll A.J., Ströher E., Smith S.M., Gardeström P. and Millar A.H. (2010) Mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase lowers leaf respiration and alters photorespiration and plant growth in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 154, 1143-1157  (Impact Factor: 7.0)

Cousins A.B., Walker B.J., Pracharoenwattana, I., Smith S.M., Badger M.R. (2011) Peroxisomal hydroxypyruvate reductase is not essential for photorespiration in Arabidopsis but its absence causes an increase in the stoichiometry of photorespiratory CO2 release. Photosynthesis Res. 108, 91-100 (Impact Factor: 2.6)


Cress enjoyed the country life during his childhood and later swapped it all for a life of fly in fly out mining. He has worked all across the north of Western Australia and his down time was spent traveling throughout Asia. This is also where he developed his extensive knowledge of the area and his love for the distinctive region food.
Cress has a strong interest in furniture and eastern concepts of design.
Cress brings his influences to the restaurant helping to create the ambient atmosphere and relaxed environment for the many loyal guests of ITSARA