Ngoc Chau-Castaneda - Executive Chef / 2015
My passion for food began at the early age of five when I began working side by side with my father in the kitchen. When my family emigrated from Vietnam they used food as way to celebrate their new life while still embracing the home they left.
Although I started out working in Special Education, I made a career change early on to pursue my childhood passion. With the encouragement of my husband Richard, I enrolled in the CCA California Academy, Le Cordon Blue, where I excelled and graduated with honors and was the valedictorian of my class.
I then began my professional culinary career as an intern at Caneel Bay in St Johns, US Virgin Islands. Upon completion, I returned to the Bay Area where I further experimented, developed and refined my personal style of cooking at various San Francisco restaurants such as Ponzu, Grande Café, Bruno's and Wayare Tavern. Through a quick succession of promotions, I continued to hone my skills learning to lead and manage high volume kitchens as an Executive Chef at Google and, most recently, Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
I love to deconstruct traditional dishes using familiar ingredients to create new culinary experiences. When I'm not hard at work in the kitchen I enjoy cooking noodles at home, watching scary movies and spending time with my husband and stepson, River.