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Charles Phan is the inventor of modern Vietnamese cuisine in America and Executive Chef and Owner of the Slanted Door family of restaurants. Born in Da Lat, Vietnam in 1962, the Phan family relocated just before the fall of Saigon, and spent two years in Guam before finally settling in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1977. A former architecture student at UC Berkeley (and a one-time software salesman), Phan opened his first restaurant, The Slanted Door, on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1995.
The restaurant relocated from its original space to its current location in the historic Ferry Building in 2004. In 2004, Phan won the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: California.” The Slanted Door was also nominated in the “Outstanding Restaurant” category in 2008. In 2010, Phan was nominated “Outstanding Chef” by the foundation. He has cooked at the James Beard House in New York City on a number of occasions.
Charles has been featured on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. In addition to his awards and accolades, Phan is a leader in the San Francisco food community, annually participating in charitable galas including Share Our Strength, Project Open Hands, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make a Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Cooking for Solution. He launched his first cookbook “Vietnamese Home Cooking” by Ten Speed Press in September 2012.
Phan is also the executive chef and owner of Out the Door, Heaven’s Dog, Academy Café, The Moss Room, Wo Hing General Store, South at SFJAZZ and Hard Water (slate to open Spring 2013). He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their three children.