Chef Tu David Phu
We're very excited to share with you about the culinary mastermind, Southeast Asian history buff, beloved friend, and Tuk Tuk Box mentor - Tu David Phu.
A little about Chef Tu:
As Chef Tu David Phu sees it, the path to cooking his unique brand of Vietnamese-California cuisine has as much to do with his birthright as his birthplace. Phu is an Oakland, CA-born first generation Vietnamese-American chef whose family hails from the island of Phu Quoc, accredited as the birthplace of fish sauce in Asia. Chef Tu’s family has been producing small-batch artisanal Phu Quoc Fish Sauce, considered Champagne of fish sauces, since 1895.
Chef Tu’s Vietnamese-California cuisine began garnering press and accolades, first in 2016 with his weekly pop-up dinners “AN - a Vietnamese Dining Experience.”; then in 2017 San Francisco Chronicle named him Rising Star Chef. In 2019, he was a featured contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Season 15 and invited to host ABC’s Taste Buds: Chefsgiving which was nominated for a James Beard Award.
What inspired you to become a chef/food biz owner?
I have a very special relationship with food. And grew up in a food desert. Fresh food was seldomly in my youth. However as I got older, my mom made a commitment to manage a small garden in our apartment building. The first thing she planted (because it was easy) was mint. Instantly, I became obsessed with mint because it was epitome of ‘fresh.’
Why did you want to highlight the food you are creating?
What is your favorite dish? Is there a story behind it?
What does courage mean to you?
Where can we expect to see you in the next few years?
Thank you so much Chef Tu for sharing his story with us! Tuk Tuk Box is proud to exclusively feature Southeast Asian ingredients and include refugee, migrant, and generational stories in every box.
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