Viet PhamExecutive Chef | Market Café at Westwood Gateway
Formerly the executive chef at Ray’s and Stark Bar at LACMA. Pham is eager to bring his experience and culinary vision to the café’s menu and catering offerings. Pham prioritizes using seasonal ingredients and local California vendors in his dishes. During his time at Ray’s and Stark Bar, he was dedicated to using “the best products at their peak of the season” and exploring their flavor capabilities. His artistic energy and commitment to high-quality ingredients will elevate the Market Café dining experience.
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 at LACMA. 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 before joining the opening team at Ray’s and Stark Bar. “I immediately felt welcomed into 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.”