DEMOCRATISING AND REDEFINING MODERN VIETNAMESE CUISINE
PETER CUONG FRANKLIN CHEF-FOUNDER OF ANAN SAIGON (#39 ON ASIA’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS, 2021)
Chef Peter Cuong Franklin, a Vietnamese-american Yale graduate, is the chef owner of Anan Saigon restaurant, Nhau Nhau cocktail bar & Pot Au Pho noodle bar, all located in Chợ Cũ, the oldest wet market in the center of bustling Saigon. He was an investment banker in New York, London and Hong Kong before following his passion to become a chef and restauranteur about ten years ago. Chef Peter ran two successful restaurants in Hong Kong before returning to Vietnam about five years ago to open Anan Saigon. The Harper Bazaar’s Chef of the Year also works with local charities such Saigon Children’s Charity, KOTO - Know One, Teach One and STREETS International, helping disadvantaged youths to gain a future in F&B. His restaurant Anan was recently voted No. 39 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 and Chef Peter was included in Tatler Asia’s Most Influential Tastemakers List 2021.
WHO/WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR GETTING INTO THIS INDUSTRY AND WHY?
As a child, I grew up in Da Lat, Central Vietnam and was always surrounded by food since my mom ran a small noodle shop in the living room of the house. You can say that food is in my blood. My mother is the inspiration for my life and my cooking because she is an amazing woman and one the best cooks in the village. She cooks only a few dishes but is famous for her Mi Quang, Cha Lua and Nem Nuong.
THREE UP-AND-COMING CHEFS ON THE RISE
• Pastry Chef Kasey Doan at Ivoire
• Chef Thao Na from Lavelle Library
• Chef Tru Lang from MÙA in Hoi An.
WHAT’S SOME ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO THOSE LOOKING TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY?
My advice for young chefs and people who want to pursue a career as a chef is simple: follow your passion and cook the food that people love to eat. And most importantly: “No Bullshit.” This means cooking with honesty and respect and don’t BS yourself or the guests who eat the food.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WHAT’S YOUR HOPE AND VISION FOR VIETNAM’S F&B INDUSTRY?
The Saigon dining scene has evolved significantly since I returned from Hong Kong to set up Anan Restaurant in 2016. I hope that Vietnam’s F&B industry will continue to develop in terms of quality, diversity and sophistication so that we can become one of the leading dining capitals of Asia.
Address: 89 Ton That Dam Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Website: anansaigon.com Facebook: anansaigon