Minh Bui And Cynthia VuTran

In 2007, after Hurricane Katrina, Chef Minh Bui and Chef Cynthia VuTran wanted to have a new beginning. They were ready to open a new restaurant in Mid-city, the area in New Orleans where it all started for Chef Minh. Cafe Minh is a place where people can come together and experience different cultures through Saigon’s Southern Vietnamese flavors, modernized with influences from French and American cuisine; all made with the freshest local ingredients available. Unique entrees such as our Crab and Watermelon Martini are served next to familiar Vietnamese dishes like Pho Bo and Ga Roti. The creativity just doesn’t end in the kitchen! Cafe Minh boasts an extensive bar menu; including a diverse wine selection, international beer and sake selections, and a global loose tea selection. Guests can sip on unique, creative libations, such as our Lemongrass Cocktail made from house made liqueurs and mixers, as well as classic New Orleans cocktails.
Minh Bui
I grew up in Saigon, but in 1981 I escaped Viet Nam and made my way to Louisiana. Once here, I entered the restaurant world, learning every position possible in the restaurant business through work at Commander’s Palace and Emeril’s restaurants. Hooked on the dream, I opened my own restaurant, Lemon Grass Café, in 1995. Later, Cynthia joined me there and together we introduced New Orleans to modern Vietnamese cuisine. Today, continuing that tradition at Café Minh, we showcase flavors inspired by my upbringing in Saigon. The food is made with an exciting fusion of local ingredients; complex yet lite and delicately flavored.
Cynthia VuTran
My journey as a chef started as a teenager under my mother’s command in the kitchen. It was here that I learned the meaning of hard work and found my love of cooking. My family escaped Viet Nam in a fishing boat in 1979. We eventually relocated to New Orleans East in search of greater opportunities and a better life. Adjusting to a new culture and language were early challenges I spent my formative years overcoming all the while working in restaurant kitchens to support myself and my family. I then went to work at a restaurant in the world-famous Fairmont Hotel. After being there, it became crystal clear to me that my true calling was in the culinary arts, so I decided to further my education goals in this field. While completing this degree, I was fortunate to have been awarded regional and state gold medals, representing my school’s culinary program in VICA competitions. From there I was recruited by many of the best culinary schools around the country, but I ultimately chose Johnson and Wales University. Upon finishing their culinary program, I returned home to New Orleans and eventually began working at Lemon Grass Cafe, the then flagship restaurant of Chef Minh Bui. Together, with our love of preparing fine food made with fresh, local ingredients, we opened Cafe Minh in Mid-City. Over the years, we have become a staple in the community because of our passion for taking care of our patrons as if they were members of our own family.

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