Episode 36
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Andrea Nguyen champions Vietnamese homecooking, from pho to grocery-store finds

“I would read Vietnamese cookbooks that were coming out in the 1980s and I'd be like, 'That is not the kind of food that my family makes,' and 'Why are they using olive oil in that recipe?and 'Why don't they tell the story of Vietnamese refugees in this country?'"

This week, we're excited to welcome Andrea Nguyen to SALT + SPINE, the podcast on stories behind cookbooks.

Andrea is the author of six cookbooks, including Vietnamese Food Any Day and the James Beard-winning The Pho Cookbook

We sit down with Andrea at our studio in San Francisco's Civic Kitchen Cooking School to discuss her lifelong interest in cookbooks, grocery shopping, and play a pho/bahn mi game. Plus, as always we check in with Celia Sack at Omnivore Books in San Francisco.

Andrea on her latest book, Vietnamese Food Any Day:

I was like, ‘How can I get Vietnamese food into people's consciousness in a really easy, small-format way? Because really my overarching thing is: Let's push Asian food ways from the margins to the mainstream.”

Andrea on writing cookbooks from the heart:

Authors should always make books that they want to use. You know, you may think ‘I'm gonna do, you know, ‘down-and-dirty easy diet book’ or whatever. Okay, but even when you do that, you need to have ownership of it because you need to really have it in your gut and your heart and your soul that that's what you want to produce.

VOICES featured in this episode:

RECIPES featured in this episode:

COOKBOOKS featured in this episode:

Episode Transcript: