Almost a year ago, we interviewed MiKi Chef and titled our article ‘The Flying Star Chef in Vietnam’. During this interview MiKi Chef had told us about her University training as a chemist and her passion for cooking … without a recipe. She had served us one of her favorite dishes: a delicious ‘Bún bò Huế’ soup, a dish that she adapted to the taste of the inhabitants of Saigon and sold successfully during the pandemic to employees of businesses near her residence not for any lucrative purpose but to help office workers eat well at low cost.
Almost a year later, we interviewed MiKi Chef. So here are the brackets of the interview…
• During the pandemic (COVID 19), precisely during the first wave and the long period of confinement in HCMC, Nguyen K Nguyen, a university-trained chemist, a young businesswoman, passionate about the culinary traditions of Da Nang, expatriate in her youth in Saigon, created the MiKi Chef Vietnam concept. The initial concept was to originally film the meals that she concocted daily, to publish them on social medias networks, and to keep a live blog, 7 days weeks on facebook with her life partner, a businessman and ex-Canadian banker, expatriated in Asia since 2006. No commercial interest was envisaged except to entertain the growing ratings. Nguyen became MiKi Chef out of the interest of her many followers.
MiKi Chef has done tests with traditional quality products without additives sold and distributed in her residential Complex in Phu Nhuan District in Saigon. Knowing the instant success of MiKi Chef, her aunty and cousin from Da Nang offered MiKi Chef to test a unique product that the Vietnamese will adore: Chả Ốc Hội An – (Enhanced pork and snails wrapping a branch of Lemon Grass with a special MiKi Chef Gravy).
In less than one month, 3,000 units were sold in a very small market segment, without advertising. MiKi Chef sniffed the opportunity as there are not similar Business in Vietnam. She is working now on repeat orders from these clients and supply restaurants while finalizing an ambitious business plan.
• MiKI Chef spent time interviewing, friends, clients, restaurants owners and the answer is amazing as Vietnamese are looking for healthy food at an affordable price. What MiKi Chef produces in an artisanal way better taste, cheaper and healthier than industrially produced food.
The Escargots are served frozen and it takes between 8 to 15 minutes to grilled on a BBQ or in an oven. MiKi Chef guarantee you a great tasting experience !
• The Raw Materials are mainly produced in Da Nang and nearby municipalities, so this is where the products are cooked and delivered in HCMC where it is distributed.
• The challenge is to supply / support the sales volume not only from Da Nang but closer of Saigon and to be shipped to Saigon and later on cooked in a Flagship retail store / Distribution Center / Restaurant / where the main demand for the products is. MiKi Chef really want to served finished products in her restaurants and in the future in Franchises Restaurants
• Everything we choose from our suppliers are high quality products. We concoct them according to our traditional methods and guarantee our clients fresh & healthy finished dishes and easy to cook products at an affordable price delivered at their doors.
• MiKi Chef Vietnam is a start-up that makes homemade specialties from Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An, according to ancestral methods. We are almost ready for the first phase of capital raising which will mainly serve to increase the production of our products in Saigon, to ensure the distribution of our products in high demand with our clientele of individuals and restaurateurs and to open our Kitchen – Distribution Center and Restaurant in Saigon. We have spotted location for leasing or ideally purchased …
• MiKi Chef want to capture this momentum of post Covid restrictions where Saigonese needs to gather again eating MiKi Chef traditional healthy meals.
MiKi Chef knows that even Covid-19 restrictions have been removed, her main challenge now is to grow, create jobs and to leave a culinary legacy in Vietnam.
Ending the Interview, MiKi Chef told us Richard Branson has motivated her with two quotes : The First one : “Remember: it’s OK to be yourself.” – The second : “An entrepreneur is an innovator, a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.” I will create jobs in Vietnam, the Country I Love and I will leave my legacy in what Vietnamese are and Love : Eating and Enjoying Life !MiKi Chef Vietnam is ME ! Cheers ! 🍻🍻🍻
We wish her good luck in her plans and success raising the capital she needs for her business expansion.
By the mean time, you can have a great food experience with her Pork & Escargots wrapped on a Lemon Grass stick dish at the following restaurants :
Publi-reportage by Must See in Vietnam, April 12th 2022
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