We’re partnering with James Beard-award winning chef, educator, and author Andrea Nguyen during this year’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Bon Appétit teams across the country will be serving up recipes from Andrea’s Vietnamese Food Any Day cookbook, introducing guests to recipes like Rice Noodle Salad, Viet Pickles, Shaking Beef, and Sweet and Spicy Pomegranate Tofu. Read on to learn more about Andrea!
Born in Vietnam, Andrea Nguyen came to America in 1975 as a refugee. From a young age, food and cooking captivated her. She had adored shopping at open air markets in Saigon and loved wandering the supermarket aisles in Southern California, where her family resettled. Her childhood enthusiasm for food, cooking, and culture primed her to become a leading voice in Asian American food and publishing.
Andrea earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California and worked as a federal bank examiner, a university administrator, and communication strategist. Andrea eventually followed her passion and went on to cook professionally in Los Angeles for a year, all the while dreaming of writing cookbooks that reflected her Vietnamese American experiences.
“Before the aughts, most Asian food was framed as something foreign, novel, or exotic. That wasn’t my life. I wanted Asian American communities to be part of the food conversation,” says Andrea. With luck and a bit of pluck, she achieved her dream, and has been a professional cookbook author for nearly twenty years.
Her widely celebrated books have received numerous award nominations and in 2018, she won a James Beard Foundation award for The Pho Cookbook. Andrea’s sixth book, Vietnamese Food Any Day employs ingredients that can be readily found at national supermarkets to prepare true Vietnamese flavors. Andrea’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bon Appétit, and many other publications. She serves as a contributor to Food and Wine and vice chair of the Southern Foodways Alliance advisory board.