| executive chef
My earliest memory in our kitchen was standing on a blue plastic milk crate, barely reaching the sink, washing the dishes. In those days, bringing your child to work meant your child would work. I studied my mom, mentally taking notes on how she created her recipes without ever officially measuring anything, claiming it was the "Vietnamese way of cooking." In her 20s and only 90lbs, her dedication amazed me as she worked non-stop, 7 days a week. Controlling the kitchen came naturally to her and I think somehow as the years passed—through osmosis—it transferred to me. Since I started running the restaurant in 1996, I often get asked what has kept us open all these years. In my head, I think of answers like dedication and hard work, but my reply has always been…EGG ROLLS—the foundation of our restaurant. We have used the same recipe for over 40 years, never skipping any steps, maintaining the integrity of our famous dish. To this day, I still peel carrots and cut onions by hand in addition to grinding our pork in house to prepare each batch. However, I finally have a measured recipe for the seasoning (don’t tell my mom).
As I watch my children help me and my wife in the kitchen at Que Viet, I secretly wonder which one of them will follow in my mom and my footsteps. I take pride as we grow from a small family restaurant, to our famous egg rolls being an item at Que Viet Concessions, one of the top vendors at the Minnesota The State Fair. It has to be from our dedication and hard work. (Just kidding, it is mostly from the egg rolls.) Really, the egg roll is the epitome of dedication and hard work. I promise never to change that recipe at Que Viet or any of our future ventures.
Thank you for your continued love and support.
Brianna is the youngest of the group. What she lacks in age she makes up with restaurant experience. Her family has strong roots in the food scene in the twin cities. She dreams of teaching her kids to take risks in the kitchen using her family recipes but adding a new twist to add to Minnesota’s ever growing food scene.
| executive creative director
Lauren, married to Dat, dreams of designing a new restaurant with authentic modern dishes, where in the future, her boys can still have mom’s cooking as she and Dat retire to spend quality time together --- snowboarding in the chest-deep powder of the Rocky Mountains.
Maria has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector through her mission and passion to serve those in need. After obtaining her degree in Psychology, Maria co-founded an organization serving individuals with mental and physical disabilities to live independently in their communities. She then worked as Director of Human Resources at the MN Indian Women’s Resource Center, Children’s Home Society of MN and Volunteers of America of MN. Maria’s love of travel and adventure moved her to California where she was employed at the largest nonprofit in the city of San Francisco as Senior Director of Human Resources. While in the San Francisco Bay Area, Maria also worked at Catholic Charities. In addition, Maria was Director of HR at the largest Texas low-income health insurance company. While working in her professional positions, Maria was a board member for Volunteers of America, MN Council of Nonprofits, YMCA, Catholic Charities, Boys and Girls Club, and Cheyanna’s Champions for Children. In her most recent position, Maria was COO/CFO and key member of the executive team at Cheyanna’s Champions for Children. Maria is SPHR and has presented and spoken at numerous human resource chapter meetings/seminars. In her spare time, Maria enjoys being with her twin daughters and family, traveling, and doing anything outside.