Foregoing life as a financial consultant to pursue a passion for cooking learned from church elders as a teenager, Nguyen worked her way up from operating phones to working the wok at a Chinese restaurant before learning classical French culinary techniques under the watch of Kamol Phutlek at a small Thai restaurant in Philadelphia.
It wasn’t long before she landed a gig as Sous Chef to Michael Schulson and Yan Huang at Stephen Starr’s pan-Asian restaurant, Pod. Promoted to Executive Sous Chef within the Starr family at the omakase-focused Morimoto, Nguyen went on to become well-versed in kushiyaki and sushi techniques at San Francisco’s Ozumo, which allowed her to hone her skills while staging restaurants in Tokyo.
Rounding out her breadth of experience, Nguyen learned to manage high-volume kitchens in Las Vegas at the Wynn’s Red 8 Restaurant and at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon before moving south and becoming the Executive Chef of Parkside in Austin TX.
Born in Vietnam, trained on classical French techniques and seasoned in Tokyo, Pennsylvania-bred Executive Chef Jennifer Nguyen now directs Parkside’s kitchen and menu development with a taste for multi-cultural flavor.