Senae Thai Bistro

How does the company you are nominating exemplify the concepts of reducing, reusing and recycling? (500 character max.)

Senae owner and Chef Dee Buizer began her commitment to sustainability even before the beginning of construction by asking then building owner, John Wesley Miller if he would recommend a contractor who would be dedicated to recycling and reusing materials. In addition to recycling and reusing during construction, the chairs used are made of reused wood. In her operation, Chef Dee ensures minimum waste by producing every dish individually, and by allowing her staff to consume and take home food

How does the company engage and inform employees and consumers about sustainability? (500 character max.)

Chef Dee and her wait staff inform patrons of the Senae’s sustainability features, many of which are visible to the guests. In addition to the green living wall and the LED lighting, the floor signage of the historic McClellan Five & Dime store has been preserved in acrylic and remains visible in the dining floor area. The insulation material, the AC unit, the refrigeration, and stoves are rated highly energy efficient. The Senae website describes explicitly Senae’s commitment to sustainability.

How does the company you are nominating give back to the community? (500 character max.)

Chef Dee locally sources many of the ingredients in the meals she serves. Her primary purveyor is Tucson’s Shamrock Foods and also purchases greens and herbs from local Farmers’ Markets. In a partnership with Manzo School’s UA’s Community and School Gardens program, she purchases Thai basil, Chinese morninglory, and other ingredients the school children grow for her. Dee donates food to local churches and supports local nonprofits. She works with local culinary schools to hire their grads.

What else would you like us to know about this company? (1,000 character max.)

Chef Dee is proud to bring her 30+ years as a successful restauranteur of fine Thai cuisine to Tucson. Born in Thailand, and with over 40 years in the U.S., she delights in exposing Tucsonans to the finest of Thai culture through her genuine Thai food, and in so doing, contributing to Tucson’s global recognition as a United Nations City of Gastronomy. Through her restaurant, she embraces and furthers her husband Jim’s lifelong career in sustainability, now as Professor at the UA. While dedicated to minimizing her operation’s environmental footprint, Chef Dee is also a fierce defender of fairness and justice. The composition of her staff is representative of the diversity of Tucson. Her employees will attest that she provides them a safe, fair and just working environment. Her commitment to sustainability goes beyond Senae, giving generously to local causes, supporting local businesses and organizations. She drives a Prius and is installing 11 kW of solar panels at her home.


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