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Learn to cook in VN then open restaurant in US  


beefalot
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Hi all: A friend is considering going to VN to learn to cook then open a restaurant in the US. She asks me to come along, and I love to go and learn about cooking. Can someone give me feedback/advice on how effective this is to do? I have no plan to run a restaurant so it'll be my friend's restaurant if/when she opens.

Thanks.

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Khangster09
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My experience is learning to cook in VN can be fun and educational, but you'll need to convert or customize whatever you learned there to meet U.S. health department codes and local suppliers' availability of ingredients.

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chuynh
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Agree with @khangster09. It's a good learning experience and can get someone unfamiliar with Vietnamese food a good and basic intro. However, there are lots of work to properly serve those same dishes in a North America restaurant. Is there a specific concept your friend has in mind with specific dishes, or is he/she open to anything? It's hard to give useful tips indirectly to someone, without the ability to ask or clarify the question., so any more info you can provide will be helpful.

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hienvucooks
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I think it depends on how much experience your friend has with foodservice and restaurant business. If he/she is experienced and/or knows what to look for, then the training will be valuable. Otherwise it can be a wild goose chase. 

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eatbanhmi
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This can be a wild goose chase. I know a few people who did just this and never got much out of it to help them open a restaurant in the US. All they got was a nice vacation trip, and a lot of fun.

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ls-nguyen45
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I've actually done this, but with very specific goals and plans. I traveled back to learn very specific things: 

  • One is how pho and bun bo Hue are made by different people with varying resources, and how they are able to survive on the streets making a tough living. My goal was to understand how pho (and BBH) can be made good enough to sustainably sell to the public given limited tools and resources they have. With this understanding I hope to be efficient while still serving good food.
  • I stay away from the paid "cooking classes" that cater mostly to tourists. While they may provide some interesting information and I'm sure I can learn a lot, those are mostly for home cooking and not for businesses that need to make a living out of the food they cook and serve.

If they can make a living on the streets of VN, then I have a lot to learn to apply to my own restaurant in the US. As long as you know you'll make adaptation from what you learn there to the US market, then you should be fine.

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LtHH25
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@ls-nguyen45 That's interesting how you did it, and I can see how you got what you went for. I know someone who did exactly this. He ended up having a very nice trip but didn't have much to show afterward with respect to cooking training.

 

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eatbanhmi
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@ls-nguyen45 This is the right approach to learn about Viet cooking to open restaurant in the U.S., though it's probably best for most non-Viet people. I may be wrong but don't think most Vietnamese do this except for when they're looking for something very specific, such as  making banh mi or some specialty dish.

On the other hand, if you choose wisely then you can find a good cooking class from a reputable chef/school and get a good intro and all the basics down.

 

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