A Life Long Passion Project
Khue’s Kitchen is a lifelong project dedicated to and inspired by Khue Pham’s legacy. For the last 30 years, Khue’s devotion to flavor, creativity and tradition has touched the lives of friends, family and eaters across the Midwest. Today, her son, chef/owner Eric Pham is honoring the memories and experiences of his mom’s artistry through Khue’s Kitchen. Using bold Vietnamese flavors, Eric blends influential and traditional dishes from his childhood with a modern perspective to reimagine Vietnamese cuisine.
MEET THE CHEF
Q/A Session with Chef/Owner Eric Pham
"I never truly appreciated the well-made home cooked meals. I was in my teens when I realized food was more than sustenance. Mom showed us affection in different ways. She always asked us, “Are you hungry?” For us, food is another form of communication. A medium in which we can show love without speech. While watching food documentaries, there was this episode on East Asian cuisine in America, and the story revolved around how the best way to champion your culture is to share it. Those 47 minutes made me think about how my mom has been serving Vietnamese food for over 40 years. Through her, people have grown to love Vietnamese food and culture. Her dedication to the craft inspired me to follow in her footsteps."
Where did you learn how to cook?
In my teens, my parents wanted me to appreciate their hard work. I started working at Quang at an early age to gain some perspective. The only ordering system I knew was auntie shouting, “one mango large and a regular jasmine.” I didn’t fully commit to cooking until I was 19. I had just applied to Spoon and Stable and figured my upbringing would translate well due to my years at Quang. I was wrong. The chefs there pushed me to my limits every day. A culture of competition for the sake of competition. The team at Spoon built my culinary foundation. That 2-year mentorship gave me the confidence to reimagine the dishes I had loved so much at Quang.
Any hobbies outside of cooking?
Eating. When I’m not cooking, I’m usually trying other peoples’ cooking. There’s nothing better than planning an entire day with friends around finding which restaurant has the best pizza. A bunch of guys eating pizza for science.