NOSH Saigon 2019: An Interview with El Camino's Calvin Bui
Chef Calvin Bui was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He studied finance, but eventually chose to pursue a career as a chef. In starting his career, he worked with chef Charles Phan at one of San Francisco’s favorite Vietnamese restaurants, Slanted Door. Known for his humor and knowledge of different cuisines, Calvin brings both of these strengths into his cooking style, which features a wide variety of tastes and presentation.
In 2009, Calvin relocated to Vietnam to continue his career path. Since then, he has kickstarted his entrepreneurial chef journey through projects like Sancho Cantina, POP Fries, and now El Camino, a Korean-Mexican taco restaurant.
Please describe your views on cuisine.
Try to do your best. Deliver the most sincere dishes and the most memorable experiences to your guests. My cuisine is always a mix of places where I used to live. In California, I used to live in an area close to the Korean and Mexican neighborhoods. I decided to combine both seemingly unrelated culinary styles and create El Camino. I don’t like to use the word fusion to talk about my food. Instead, I like my food to share its own stories. Through my food, I can share about the places I used to go and about the experiences I used to have in California.
What keeps you in Vietnam?
Over the past 10 years, the Vietnamese culinary context has changed spectacularly. Vietnamese people are embracing culinary culture more than ever before. I think it’s my responsibility to be an ambassador for dishes and cuisines that Vietnamese people can discover. I believe that I can build a foundation from which young chefs and culinary enthusiasts are inspired and can become confident in expressing their personal culinary style. It is time for us to be more bold in creating new culinary styles.
As a participant in NOSH, do you have any comments about the program?
NOSH is a platform for creative chefs like us to introduce our culinary personality to guests. The atmosphere of the program is also close and cozy. I’d love to have more time to dig into the story of each chef, the style of cooking and the mission each is pursuing.
What Vietnamese dishes do you love and where do you go to to enjoy them?
Banh bot loc, oc, bun dau mam tom, bun nem, mi Quang, banh canh cua, bo la lot, banh xeo…
More information about the event can be found here.
Book your ticket now:
Price: 2.200.000VND/person/night (all inclusive)
Call: (+84) 909 904 636
or Pop by GRAIN Cooking Studio counter,
Level 3, 71-75 Hai Ba Trung, D.1, HCMC.
In partnership with: