World Chefs: Charles Phan recounts career, shares tips in new book

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:20am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Award-winning chef Charles Phan chronicles his career and shares his recipes for Vietnamese cuisine in his newest cookbook, "The Slanted Door," named after his famous San Francisco restaurant.

The book, a follow-up to Phan's "Vietnamese Home Cooking," details the history of the restaurant he opened in 1995 and includes wine notes and cocktail recipes.

Last year, the prestigious James Beard Foundation named The Slanted Door the best U.S. restaurant, making it the first Asian eatery to earn the distinction.

Phan, a 52-year-old former architecture major who is considered an authority on modern Vietnamese cuisine in the United States, fled Vietnam with his family in 1975.

He spoke to Reuters about his culinary career and the evolving American taste for Asian food.

Q: How do the changes at The Slanted Door over the past 20 years reflect the changes in your career and personal life?

A: It changes every day. I still work my ass off. The team got bigger. At first, I was on the line by myself. There is more traveling. Now the customers are a lot more educated. They are more adventurous.   Continued...

Vietnamese-American chef Charles Phan cooks inside the kitchen of his restaurant The Slanted Door in San Francisco in 2014, in this handout provided by Ed Anderson.    
REUTERS/Ed Anderson/Reprinted with permission from photographer and Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House/Handout via Reuters