Andy Nguyen, Engineer, Chef de Cuisine

Andy was born in Hue, a city in central Vietnam famous for its noodle soup (Bun Hue), where his family opened the very first vegetarian restaurant. As a child, he lost both parents in the war. He fled Vietnam alone in 1979 by boat without a penny in his pocket. After spending two years in a refugee camp in Hong Kong, Andy found freedom in the USA.

After settling down in California, he supported himself by taking on whatever jobs available such as washing dishes and chopping vegetables in restaurants. At the same time, he enrolled himself in a community college and later transferred to San Jose State University where he obtained his BS degree in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he was hired by a large computer company in Silicon Valley and worked there for 10 years as a system test engineer until he discovered his passion and talent in cooking by helping a friend to run a Vietnamese restaurant in 1997.

Since then, Andy has been hired as a chef in several well-known Asian restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. While working at a Chinese restaurant, he invented a technique of gradually adding water during stir-fry to keep the wok at the optimal temperature. His signature dishes, Spicy Royal Noodles and Lemongrass Tofu, are extremely popular. At Vegan Gourmet Box, Andy is developing new vegan recipes by combining Vietnamese and other Southeast-Asian cuisines.