So who is this Bobby Chinn and why is he is in Vietnam? He is half Egyptian and half Chinese; born in New Zealand but educated primarily in England. Very Eurasian.
Bobby Chinn’s culinary education was modest at first but he got his first chance when renowned chef Hubert Keller of Fleur De Lys took him in. Soon he would work with other chefs like Jeffery Inahara, Traci des Jardin and Gary Danko.
After reading Burgundy Stars, he went off to apprentice in Bordeaux and Paris. Bobby Chinn had run several highly acclaimed restaurants in Vietnam before opening Restaurant Bobby Chinn, including Camargue, Saigon Joe’s in Ho Chi Minh City, Miro, and the Red Onion Bistro in the Hanoi Towers (formerly the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison).
But why Vietnamese food as he is not Vietnamese at all or related? That was because Bobby Chinn saw the opportunity to invent something new there as there were no cutting edge Western restaurants at that time when he first visited Vietnam. What’s more, the tourism in Vietnam was still in its infancy. So the potential for culinary growth is very much un-mined.