An: To EatRecipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family Kitchen


Helene An, renowned master chef and matriarch of the An Restaurant Dynasty, now shares the delicious recipes that have won her praise from critics and celebrities alike-and unveils the incredible stories behind them.

In Vietnamese, “AN” means “TO EAT,” a happy coincidence, since the An family has built an award-winning restaurant empire— including the renowned celebrity favorite Crustacean Beverly Hills—that has been toasted by leading food press, including Bon Appétit, Gourmet, InStyle and the Food Network. Helene An, executive chef and matriarch of the House of An, is hailed as the “mother of fusion” and was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute for her signature style that brings together Vietnamese, French, and California- fresh influences. Now her daughter Jacqueline tells the family story and shares her mother’s delicious and previously “secret” recipes, including “Mama’s” Beef Pho, Drunken Crab, and Oven-Roasted Lemongrass Chicken.

Helene’s transformation from pampered “princess” in French Colonial Vietnam, to refugee then restaurateur, and her journey from Indochina’s lush fields to family kitchen gardens in California are beautifully chronicled throughout the book. The result is a fascinating peek at a lost world, and the evolution of an extraordinary cuisine. The 100 recipes in An: To Eat feature clean flavors, simple techniques, and unique twists that could only have come from Helene’s personal story.

Helene An Helene An is one of the most celebrated chefs in America, regularly chosen by the James Beard Foundation to host events and by Hollywood elite to cater Oscar parties. She was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute in 2007 for her contribution to introducing Vietnamese cuisine to mainstream America. Helene grew up in French Colonial Vietnam, but fled with her family to Saigon in 1955 after the Communist invasion. Twenty years later, she had to flee Saigon and soon settled in San Francisco, where she established the city’s first Vietnamese restaurant, Thanh Long. Helene oversees the House of An that includes five restaurants throughout California including Crustacean Beverly Hills, named Esquire’s “Best New Restaurant” in 1997 and winner of the prestigious Five-Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2015. Helene’s tantalizing food – featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate – has long been hailed by critics, celebrities, and an adoring public.

Jacqueline An is a Wharton School of Business graduate and one of Helene’s five daughters behind the House of An. Jacqueline grew up listening to stories of her mother’s childhood in Vietnam, the adventures, the dangers, and the elegance of the Indochine era. Jacqueline seeks to share Helene’s culinary inspirations so that home cooks can bring some of the same magic into their own kitchens. When she is not caring for her two young sons, she can usually be found in the kitchen with Helene creating new dishes for their restaurants and at home.

Both authors live in Beverly Hills, CA.

 

An: To Eat isn’t just a good cookbook, it’s a hell of a story.”
—Epicurious.com

“It’s so wonderful: The An story, the An family, and especially the An food. Vietnamese royal cuisine meets L.A. flair.”
—Alan Richman, 16-time James Beard Foundation winner for food writing and GQ food correspondent

Chef Helene An’s talent for composing flavors is virtuosic. Her contribution to the California culinary landscape places her firmly in the ranks of Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. An: To Eat grants us a peek at some of her delectably covert recipes–after all, everyone loves a tasty secret.”
—Eddie Lin, Los Angeles Times food writer

“Chef An’s cooking isn’t simply about food. It’s a celebration of life, of family, of survival and triumph. Her life is a tribute to living well — and living with love!”
—Merrill Shindler, KABC Radio