Executive Chef Viet Pham
VIET PHAMExecutive Chef | Cafe Pinot
“We are blessed to have a forager who travels from farm to farm, picking out the best products at their peak of the season,” Pham comments, referring to Dragon, the Café Pinot’s elite forager. Having the access to these ingredients, Pham is inspired to explore their capabilities and put them on display for the public.
Pham grew up learning to balance flavors alongside his mother. This relationship inspired the importance of creativity and skillfully working with his hands. Pham took this inspiration and pursued a career in the culinary field. After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena in 2006, he began his career at Casey’s restaurant, where he first met Chef Kris Morningstar, for whom he later worked at Blue Velvet and eventually Ray’s and Stark Bar. He also sought out an opportunity to work with at Bouchon in Yountville under Chef Philip Tessier. It was Bouchon that sparked Pham’s passion for a farm to table philosophy. “It is an amazing feeling to pick a radish from the French Laundry garden, wash it, cook it and then serve it to a guest” says Pham.
Pham jumped at the opportunity involving the opening at BottleRock LA with Chef Jared Levy, whom he had originally met on the line at Blue Velvet. He spent three months in the Philippines for a restaurant consulting project prior to joining Patina Restaurant Group in 2011. He was part of the opening team for Ray’s & Stark Bar, where he started as a sous chef under Morningstar and was eventually promoted to executive chef in spring 2014. “I immediately felt welcomed to the Patina Restaurant Group family,” he says. “Joachim Splichal inspired me to be focused and brought together an amazing opening team. That collaborative atmosphere is a large part of why I’ve worked here so long.”