My F&W
quick save (...)

Thai Dang

Chef Thai Dang
Photo courtesy of Embeya

Restaurant: Embeya (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because his superlative food melds Vietnamese flavors from his childhood with French and Chinese cooking techniques, resulting in stunning dishes like garlic chicken prepared Peking duck style.

Culinary School: L'Academie de Cuisine (Gaithersburg, MD)

Background: CityZen, Zentan (Washington, DC); L2O, Ria, Balsan (Chicago)

Quintessential Dish: Green papaya salad with culantro, crispy shallots and house-made beef jerky

On the Food at Embeya: "What I showcase on my menu is all of my travels through Japan and Thailand, as well as my family. We cook and we enjoy each other's company every weekend."

Nickname: Dang is the youngest of 10 children—seven boys and three girls. Embeya is the phonetic spelling of Em be, their nickname for him, which means "little one" in Vietnamese.

Role Model: Every Sunday, Dang's mother cooks a special meal for her family using industrial-size pots for pho (soup) and noodle dishes. "Picture a woman standing roughly 5-foot-1 climbing on a step stool with the longest ladle known to man, to cook, stewing and grilling for a group the size of an army."

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.