Charles Phan is the inventor of modern Vietnamese cuisine in America and Executive Chef and Owner of the Slanted Door family of restaurants. Born in Da Lat, Vietnam in 1962, the Phan family relocated just before the fall of Saigon, and spent two years in Guam before finally settling in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1977. A former architecture student at UC Berkeley (and a one-time software salesman), Phan opened his first restaurant, The Slanted Door, on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1995. It was quickly recognized for its unique Vietnamese flavor. The restaurant relocated from its original space to its current location in the historic Ferry Building in 2004. Phan’s other restaurants are: Out the Door/OTD, The Coachman, Hard Water, South at SFJAZZ, and Green Cap Catering. All are located in San Francisco, California.
In 2004, Phan won the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: California.” The Slanted Door was also nominated in the “Outstanding Restaurant” category in 2008, 2013 and 2014. In 2010 and 2011, Phan was nominated “Outstanding Chef” by the foundation. The Slanted Door won Outstanding Restaurant in 2014.
Charles has been featured on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and Esquire Network’s Knife Fight. In addition to his awards and accolades, Phan is a leader in San Francisco food community and has participated in charitable events including Share Our Strength, Project Open Hands, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make a Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels, CUESA, Alex’s Lemonade, One Vietnam, 18 Reasons, Taste of the Nation. Charles’ first cookbook “Vietnamese Home Cooking” published by Ten Speed Press won 2013 IACP Chefs and Restaurants cookbook award. His second cookbook “The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food” was published in the Fall of 2014.