Chef Chi Le never dreamed that one day she would be a celebrated Master Chef with her own restaurant.
“I didn’t think about cooking until my daughter was born, “ she explains. “I didn’t like the baby food in jars. It cost a lot of money and it wasn’t very good.”
So Chi set about creating and crafting food for her young child.
“I would buy meat and seafood and fresh produce,” she remembers, “then I would cook it, puree it and serve it to her. She loved it—and that's when I discovered that I could cook.”
Fast-forward twenty-five years to the birth of Chi’s newest creation: the Chi Modern Vietnamese Kitchen. Opening in early August 2016 the Kitchen promises authentic Vietnamese food made with fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients and crafted with Chi’s own creative flair.
Chi, famous in her native country as a runner-up in the Masterchef Vietnam reality television competition, wants Vancouver to experience the unique flavours of Vietnamese dishes. And each visit to the Kitchen promises to be a different experience.
“I want to introduce the experience of an authentic, shared Vietnamese family meal to those people who want to know about Vietnamese cuisine,” she says, “and bring the freshness of each season to that experience.”
Chef Chi has two cookbooks and a dessert recipe book in the works and plans to hold Vietnamese cooking classes once the restaurant is established.
“My goal is really just to cook very good Vietnamese food with fresh produce and amazing local seafood—the best in the world,” she says. “And perhaps one day, by doing what I love, I can reach the unreachable—a Michelin star!”
For more information on Chi Modern Vietnamese Kitchen call 604.336.3010, check out the website at http://www.chirestaurantbar.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by 1935 West 4th Avenue during open hours. The restaurant can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.