I believe in food:

Delicious, humble, wholesome food.

When I first became vegetarian at 19, I still yearned for the good stuff. Not so much the actual food, but more what that food meant – a certain flavor, a texture and that kick I’d grown accustomed to after growing up in Texas eating meals prepared by my mother, a traditional Vietnamese cook, and my father, an experimental kind of guy with a taste for fusions.

Driven by that yearning to recreate meatless versions of my childhood favorites and a passion to pursue the culinary arts, I left my nine-to-five in California for the kitchens of New York City.

I did whatever I could to get to my foot in the door. Bussing, hosting, serving, you name it. My first kitchen experience began at Champs Diner, where I started as a prep cook and ended up as Head Chef in less than a year. Moving on, I then became the Executive Chef at Black Flamingo in Brooklyn where I had a lot of fun creating an innovative, international vegan tauqeria menu. Before I knew it, seven years flew by and it ended up being the greatest years of my life! Years filled with challenges that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, incredible people that I met and learned from, and the realization that I have finally discovered my calling. I am humbled by the entire experience and opportunities that I've been given. 

Since then I have relocated back to Long Beach, California which has always felt as home. I'm currently working on my own solo food project - The Wild Chive. Currently, we are a pop-up restaurant with a residency inside the beautiful and all-things-local focused gift shop and art gallery, MADE By Millworks. I personally invite you to come dine with us on Sundays for Vegan Brunch from 9am-3pm and Dinner on Thursdays from 5-9pm!

240 Pine Ave. (3rd & Pine Ave.) Long Beach, CA 90802

Ultimately, I am inspired by global fare, locally-sourced, market fresh foods and you. I love pushing the boundaries with plant-based foods and re-inventing comforting international classics for all to enjoy. Hope to share a taste of Wild Chive with you soon

- Chef Soozee