Van Đa, New York
CHEF & OWNER YEN NGO’S STORY
Yen Ngo is the chef/owner of Van Đa, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in New York City’s East Village. Van Đa opened in March 2019 and has received rave reviews in both The New York Times and The New Yorker, as well as recognition from the 2020 Michelin Guide as a Bib Gourmand. The intimate restaurant offers a menu that is divided regionally, and is known for its standout renditions of traditional Vietnamese dishes such as banh beo (steamed rice cakes with shrimp and scallion), banh bot loc (pork and shrimp tapioca dumplings), and banh it ram (crispy mochi balls).
Yen also operates Real Food Catering, a successful NYC-based catering company that specializes in weddings and corporate events. Over the last 14 years, Real Food has partnered with many of New York’s most sought-after event spaces. They offer a full array of catering services from cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres, to family-style dinners, to seated meals, to dessert soirées, as well as assistance with event planning and rentals.
After working as an engineer for a few years, Yen received a full scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier in Washington DC to attend L’Academie de Cuisine. She trained in restaurants across the country before moving to NYC to start Real Food Catering.