Bao La - HCMC
Bao La is a second-generation Vietnamese Australian chef, born and raised in Brisbane. When his career appetite shifted from finance to food, he traded the office for the kitchen. Pursing one’s passion isn’t exactly encouraged within the Asian culture, but with supportive parents who ran their own successful restaurant for 25 years, Bao knew that being a chef was his calling and has never looked back.
Working at his parent’s restaurant allowed him to master cooking with the wok. He then further developed his culinary skills at Ms.G’s and Mr Wong under prominent Australian chefs Dan Hong and Jowett Yu with the Merivale Group. He was then poached by Jowett and Black Sheep Restaurants to take on the role of Sous Chef at Ho Lee Fook in Hong Kong. Within 2 years he spearheaded the first Saigonese grill house Le Garcon Saigon in Hong Kong and then following the restaurant’s success, he opened banh mi stall Le Petit Saigon.
Throughout his cooking career, Bao has done pop ups internationally from Asia to Europe, including New York, Paris, Shanghai, Vietnam, as well as Brisbane’s own Howard Smith Wharves.
Peter Cuong Franklin - ANAN, HCMC
Peter Cuong Franklin is a Vietnamese-American Yale graduate who decided to pursue his passion in the culinary arts after a successful career in investment banking.
A pioneer of modern Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, Peter aspires to renew the relevance of culinary traditions in an ever-changing global food scene. The true inspiration for cooking, however, comes from his mother, who runs a small noodle shop in Central Vietnam and was famed for her regional-style pork and turmeric noodle soup and pork sausage steamed in banana leaves.
The name of his restaurant is AnAn means ‘eat eat’ is located in 89 Tôn Thất Đạm, Bến Nghé Street, a wet market right in the center of bustling Saigon and was awarded a place in the revered Top 50 World's Best, Asia.
Thi Le - JEOW & CA COM, MELBOURNE
Chef Thi Le is an important voice in shaping Australia’s cultural dining landscape. She has consistently championed the progression of Vietnamese cuisine in our culinary psyche since opening her restaurant, Anchovy, in 2015. Her aim is to use her platform as a restauranteur in the industry to advance the identity and ethos of Vietnamese, and South East Asian, cuisine beyond the street food culture these cuisines are known for. Since opening Anchovy, Thi has been recognised within the industry with a spate of awards including Gourmet Traveller Chef of the Year 2023. Thi has most recently opened Jeow (2022, Laotian cuisine) and Ca Com (2021, banh mi) to much media and industry recognition.
TOMMY PHAM - MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY
He has become synonymous with bringing Vietnamese cuisine and culture to an international audience. Tommy’s work has been documented in Australian, Vietnamese and Singaporean media
(just do a quick google search to see!).
Tommy’s greatest achievement so far has to be his family. With two sons Miles and Hugo, Tommy spends most of his days playing, cooking and creating fun content with his boys. His love
for cooking and family has led to the release of his first cookbook My Family Kitchen. Tommy is proud to be working with Penguin Books for this release.
Julien Perraudin - Quince Saigon, HCMC
RODRIGO MARTINEZ - INTERCONTINENTAL SAIGON, HCMC
Phan Lê Anh Tú - Ngoam, HANOI
Chef Phan Lê Anh Tú the co-founder, chef and patron of Ngoặm bistro in Hanoi where he learnt culinary skills abroad working for renowned restaurants across Europe before coming back home and opening Ngoặm in Hanoi.
Before grinding more than 20 tons of Wagyu for burgers, Phan Lê Anh Tú started his dream at Restaurant Kontrast in Oslo, Norway. Currently back in his home town for his self-quest of reshaping the perspectives on chefs in Vietnam.
Hieu Ha - The Snug Table, Hanoi
Hieu has previously worked in several locations across Vietnam, including JW Mariott Phu Quoc, Jardin des Sens Saigon, Oskar Bistro, Hotel de la Coupole Sapa. Classic French cuisine has been an inspiration to Hieu throughout his culinary career. Hieu wishes to reintroduce the traditional French technique, the simple yet sophisticated taste, and the narrative behind each dish in his work.
HEATH GORDON, HCMC
He is passionate about supporting VietHarvest, being able to use his role to influence change and make a positive impact on people in underserved communities. He is excited to be cooking for social impact leaders and charity leaders, as well as teaching business leaders some skills in the kitchen!
FRANCIS THUAN TRAN - ESTA SAIGON, HCMC
Thuan Tran, also recognized as Francis, is a respected name in Vietnam’s culinary scene. Known for his way of treating his ingredients on simply, fire, and his relentless exploration of local ingredients, Francis has been named as Chef of the Year (2023) alongside his restaurant – Esta Saigon as one of the Finalists of the Grand Jury’s Choice, Restaurant of the Year (2020, 2021, 2023) at Vietcetera’s Banh Mi Awards.
Unlike most celebrity chefs in the world who grew their passion for gastronomy since youth, Francis found his in a quite unexpected place. Coming from a humble family in Buon Me Thuot, a province located at the central highland of Vietnam, he followed his father’s footsteps and graduated as an Civil Engineer. But he was not fond of this job. He soon quit and found himself driving around Saigon delivering food to doorsteps and helping out in the kitchen by washing dishes, where he first saw the spark of passion for cooking as being around the stoves and knives and occasionally peeking out to the dining hall, seeing customers enjoying their best time dining and laughing.
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