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.

Having no industry experience, I did whatever I could to shimmy my way into the kitchen. Bussing tables, hosting, serving - you name it. Finally, I landed my first position in the kitchen at Champs Diner, where I started as a prep cook and ended up as the Head Chef in less than a year. I spent a couple years there leading and managing the kitchen, creating and executing the menu until moving on to other establishments to continue on my quest of learning as much as I could. I then became the Executive Chef at Black Flamingo in Brooklyn where I had a lot of fun creating an innovative, international vegan taqueria 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. Where I’ve launched my own food baby - The Wild Chive. After 3 adventurous years of hosting our vegan pop-ups, I’m excited to announce that we are now in the works of building our very own brick-n-mortar! Please follow us on Instagram @thewildchive for updates on our progress.

Ultimately, I am inspired by global cuisines, 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. Really looking forward to inviting you into our new home for the real Wild Chive experience. Stay tuned!

#thewildchive #bricknmortar #openingfall2019 #longbeachvegan

- Chef Soozee