Viet Pham grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with parents who loved food and cooking. His upbringing inspired him to pursue a career in food, and he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2002. While attending school, Pham interned at Michelin-starred Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, CA under award-winning chef Laurent Gras. Pham went on to cater local private events before relocating to Provo,UT to secure the Executive Chef position at Spark Restaurant Lounge.There, Pham met his business partner, Bowman Brown, and the pair opened Forage Restaurant in Salt Lake City, UT in July, 2009. Though a unique concept in the Salt Lake City restaurant scene, Forage Restaurant was well-received by the community and quickly emerged as the top eatery in the area; it won Salt Lake Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2010, Best Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2011, and Pham won Best Chef from the magazine in 2012.
Pham won Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011, after receiving a nomination from the magazine the previous year for People’s Best New Chef: Southwest. His scallop sashimi with Meyer lemon confit was also featured in Food & Wine in "The 10 Best Restaurant Dishes" in their 2010 feature story. The James Beard Foundation nominated him as a Semi-Finalist for Best Chef: Southwest, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2012, Pham participated in Food Network’s show Extreme Chef where he was runner-up. He also competed on the network’s marquee program, Next Food Network Star in 2013 and defeated Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. Pham has appeared in Bon Appetit, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, and The Salt Lake Tribune. This Spring, 2015, Pham will open his new restaurant, Ember + Ash, in downtown Salt Lake City.
Most recently, Pham was seen last month on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno.
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