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Q+A: Vietnam-born Chef Thang Pham Talks Cooking in Barcelona

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Chef Thang Pham—born in Vietnam, raised in America, running a kitchen in Barcelona— presents the world on a plate, the summation of his influences wrapped in a banana leaf: his mother; his childhood best friend who welcomed him into an African American southern home; Washington, D.C.’s Anne Cashion; his Catalan present. Pham’s restaurant “Me” (Vietnamese for Mother), is in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. Here, this architect-turned-Cordon Bleu graduate presents nimble plates for a sophisticated audience.

Q: How did you end up in BCN?

A: Having studied architecture, I came here because of Antonio Gaudi and I stumbled upon Ferran Adria and all those fantastic chefs—it was a very creatively rich atmosphere. My plan was to stay here a year—13 years ago!  Spain has an absolutely amazing the sense of passion for and quality of product that is unrivaled—the black pork, all the seafood, even the artichokes. The reverence for simple, quality food is unique.

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