Van Đa, New York
CHEF MARY CELINE BUI’S STORY
Mary Celine Bui is a native Filipina from the capital city, Manila. There, she attended St. Scholastica’s College, an all-girls school that focused on female empowerment and human rights, which she credits as having driven her focus and shaped her life. Mary attended the premier culinary program at De La Salle College of St. Benilde, where she earned her B.A. in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. After five years of cooking on the line and managing kitchens in Manila, Mary journeyed to Key West before landing in New York City. Once in New York, she found a home at Andy Ricker’s celebrated northern Thai institution Pok Pok, where she became more versed in the flavors and cuisines of Southeast Asia. At Pok Pok, she met her husband, who is of Vietnamese descent, and learned more about Vietnam’s culture, language, and food through his family. Now, at Van Đa, Mary continues to develop her knowledge and deepen her love of Vietnamese cuisine and culture.
“Before going on a class field trip to Vietnam in 2009, I knew little to nothing about Vietnam. There I fell in love with the food and the culture. Little did I know that I would fall in love all over again in New York City and find myself fully immersed in Vietnamese cuisine and life.” – Mary Celine Bui