If you were with us at the Overseas Vietnamese Summit: HOMECOMING Conference event, you might have caught a glimpse of Chef Peter Cuong Franklin sharing his extraordinary journey. For those hungry for more details, buckle up and tune in to this episode of Vietnam Innovators hosted by Hao Tran, featuring the renowned Michelin-starred chef himself.
Chef Peter is the creative force behind Anan Saigon, openly sharing his ambition to elevate it to become the world’s top Vietnamese restaurant. Beyond critics’ recognition, his aim extends to capturing the hearts and minds of the public. A native of Da Nang, Chef Peter’s journey from a career in JP Morgan to a culinary sensation in Vietnam reveals a story of passion, patience, and reinvention.
As the first Vietnamese restaurant to be adorned with a Michelin star, Anan Saigon’s achievements are nothing short of extraordinary. Chef Peter reflects on the impact of this accolade, from consecutive years on the Asian 50 Best Restaurants list to the newfound pressure and expectations. The Michelin star not only signifies exceptional cooking but also places Anan Saigon in an exclusive global community, challenging traditional perceptions of fine dining.
The episode delves into the challenges and opportunities that accompany Michelin’s recognition. Chef Peter candidly discusses the pressures of maintaining high standards and consistency, all while navigating the evolving landscape of modern Vietnamese cuisine. Tasting menus, once less known, now dominate orders, prompting a transformation in kitchen operations and skill sets.
Anan Saigon’s evolution to meet the demands of a Michelin star involves strategic changes, from spreading out the kitchen across different floors for specialized focus to investing in both people and space. The journey from a casual dining environment to a realm of precision and attention to detail is not without its challenges, but the increased business volume allows for growth and exploration.
Beyond the culinary realm, his passion for innovation shines through. Anan Saigon not only redefines Vietnamese cuisine but also revolutionizes the drinking culture in a distinctive manner. The episode concludes with Chef Peter expressing a newfound interest in the world of writing and visual imagery to capture the essence of food—a testament to his continuous pursuit of learning and growth.
Watch the full episode here