Happy Chef Blogging Friday!
(From her bio on her website of her restaurant, LemonGrass. One of my favorite restaurants in Sacramento, CA)
Mai Pham is the chef and owner of Lemon Grass Restaurant in Sacramento, California, a nation- ally acclaimed restaurant featuring Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. A respected expert on Southeast Asian Cuisine, she writes for national publications, conducts cooking classes and seminars, and serves as a con-sultant to various food organizations throughout the U.S.
She's the author of Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table (Harpercollins, Aug. 2001). Her first book, The Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking (Prima, 1996) was featured on National Public Radio 'Fresh Air' and in Martha Stewart Living and ArtCulinaire magazines. A food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, she also contributes to the Los Angeles Times, Fine Cooking and other major publications. In addition, she teaches at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and leads educational culinary tours to South-east Asia.
Her inaugural tour to Vietnam in 2000 was televised internationally by CNN, and was frequently rebroadcasted on United and Delta airlines. Mai's achievements have led to numerous awards and recognition. She won both the International Association of Culinary Professionals Bert Greene and the Association of Food Journalists awards for excellence in journalism; the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce 'Businesswoman of the Year' award and the Business Journal 'Women Who Mean Business' award. She also received an honorary Master's degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York for her 'entreprenuerial spirit, culinary leadership and commitment to cooking education.'
Mai came to the U.S. with her family after the fall of Saigon in 1975. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Journalism, she worked as a television reporter until 1988 when she decided to follow her passion for cooking and opened Lemon Grass Restaurant.