Updated: Jan 2
Peter Cuong Franklin is a Vietnamese-American chef who studied at Le Cordon Bleu and trained at world-famous restaurants including Caprice in Hong Kong, Alinea in Chicago and Nahm in Bangkok. A pioneer of modern Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, he is a leading light and one of the most recognizable faces on the country’s dynamic gastronomic scene. His true inspiration is his mother, who runs a small noodle shop in Dalat in central Vietnam and is famed for her pork turmeric noodle soup and pork sausage steamed in banana leaves. At Anan Saigon, he combines his deep knowledge of Southeast Asian street-food flavors with contemporary international techniques. He serves on the advisory board of Streets International, a charity that trains disadvantaged youths for a career and future in F&B. Chef Peter also helms Nhau Nhau cocktail bar and Pot Au Pho noodle bar, with all his restaurants – including Anan Saigon – located in Chợ Cũ, the oldest wet market in Ho Chi Minh’s city center. Chef Peter was featured in Tatler Asia’s Most Influential Tastemakers List 2021.
Tell us more about the ANAN story.
Anan means “eat, eat” and is located in Chợ Cũ along Tôn Thất Đạm Street, a wet market in the heart of bustling Saigon. We specialize in street food-inspired dishes that I have created. Our creative take on Vietnamese cuisine reflects my vision of a Vietnam that remains deeply respectful of history and traditions yet equally progressive and international in outlook. I am inspired by the country’s vibrant food culture, using fresh ingredients sourced from local markets while incorporating French culinary techniques honed during my training at Le Cordon Bleu.
The Anan Experience can be found in an iconic “tube house”, one of the tall, thin buildings that typify modern Vietnamese architecture. Upstairs from Anan, on the 2nd floor, is the cocktail bar Nhau Nhau. The name means “drink, drink” – a tribute to Vietnam’s culture of after-work drinking and eating. And above that, is Pot Au Pho noodle bar which showcases the country’s most iconic noodle dish, pho. Before and after visits to any of the venues, guests can transition to the building’s rooftop dining bar and take in the breathtaking views of downtown Saigon. Anan Saigon was voted No. 39 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2021 and featured in Time World’s 100 Greatest Places 2021.
Is there a color that you feel connected to?
When I was living in New York City and Hong Kong, I moved around quite often every couple of years. And to establish a sense of place with each new apartment, I would pick one wall and paint a dark blue color that made me feel peaceful and at home. My favorite shade is cobalt blue.
Why is this recipe inspired by the MARK YOUR WALL Color Palette #03?
The color of blue reminds of the plastic stools that we see everywhere on the streets in Vietnam. Aside from the amazing street food that we have available to us in Saigon at any time of the day, here’s a simple cocktail recipe combining a couple of ingredients, beer and tuong ot, that are synonymous with street food.
TUONG OT COCKTAIL
1. I prefer 333, but Saigon or any light Vietnamese larger is fine.
2. Mix the beer with tuong ot, lime juice and a touch of salt. Adjust to your taste.
3. Rim the glass with salt.
4. Garnish with rau ram and enjoy.
Thank you so much Chef Peter Cuong Franklin for the fun collaboration!
Visit ANAN Restaurant at: 89 Ton That Dam, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Lastly, we end the conversation by sharing one of Chef Peter's favorite songs, Almost Blue by Chet Baker. Enjoy!
𝘈𝘳𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 #𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦, #𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 #𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘍𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘯 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘸𝘸.𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭.𝘤𝘰𝘮
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