Biển (Sea) by Chef Tu David Phu
For our kickoff event, renowned Bay Area Chef Tu David Phu served up an ocean-inspired, 5-course Vietnamese meal featuring fresh seaweed harvested locally from the Northern California coast.
One the nation's premier farm to table cooks, Chef Tu's resume includes stints at the nation’s top Michelin-rated restaurants: Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerello, Daniel Boulud, Breslin, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern. Most recently, Chef Tu was Executive Chef of Gather in Berkeley.
Our mini-doc, along with a post-dinner discussion panel and Q&A section, explored how seaweed, one of California's most abundant resources, can be used in modern cuisine.
Gỏi Trái Bơ
Will Brokaw Avocado & corn salpicon, dried sea lettuce, shrimp powder, charred onion petal
Cơm Con Don
Penn cove Mussels, turmeric-fried rice, sea celery, ginger, fishworm
Seaweed consommé, pork, mushroom, Hodo Soy Tofu, mắm, chili oil, ginger
Bánh Canh Tom
Handmade tapioca noodles, Oregon Bay Shrimp, egg yolk, serrano, scallion, medley of seeds
Green lentils, kombu, preserved kumquats, chia
More About Chef Tu David Tu
Chef Tu David Phu's resume reflects a reverence for American culinary greats, skilled in classical European traditions. His stints include the nation’s top Michelin-rated restaurants: Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerello, Daniel Boulud, Breslin, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern. Most recently, Chef Tu was Executive Chef of Gather in Berkeley.
But even before all this, Chef Tu had a rich culinary experience. His family hails from the Island of Phu Quoc in Southern Vietnam, and immersed him in the practices, ingredients, techniques, and flavors of one of world's most sophisticated global cuisines. “I grew up watching my parents make tapioca noodles and fresh coconut milk every Sunday in Oakland, California. The pure joy and care they placed into food and traditions stuck with me. I was amazed how much cooking can enrich the lives of others.” Obsessed with this perspective, he set out to make cooking his journey.
His semi-annual pilgrimages to his family's island home, the fish sauce capital of Vietnam - catching seafood off the coast and cooking with relatives - feed his culinary expansion back at home in the United States. And his professional training provided tools to analyze/unlock/deconstruct the layers and complexity of common dishes of his childhood. His dishes are very much a product of occupying a vast range of cooking contexts.
Chef Tu will host dinners inspired by the diverse regional specialties, terroirs and dining traditions in Vietnam. He loves the interplay between Western and Eastern cooking techniques and seasonal, locally abundant ingredients, along with harder-to-find and less-commonly known ingredients.
Chef Tu invites diners to explore flavors and pairings with centuries of refinement and familiarity in Vietnam, but not often encountered in the United States. Diners already steeped in Vietnamese eats will find both taste memories and adventure in his compositions.