Hi! I’m Nam!

I was born in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota but now happily reside in beautiful San Diego, California. My family were Vietnamese refugees and although we were far from “middle-class”, I never felt the struggles of money when it came to the quality (and quantity) of food that we enjoyed. Getting South East Asian ingredients in the midwest during the 1970’s was no small feat….but my mom made it happen. She incorporated “western” products into our traditional dishes and indulged our modest family budget with fresh, quality ingredients. She was my original “Baller on a budget!”

For me, that’s where it all started. My respect and passion for food has continued to grow through the years as my siblings and I found ways to carry out our family’s traditions while discovering new Foodventures. And at the end of the day, if my kitchen creations can bring a smile to someone’s face, then I’m a happy camper.

The Culinary Chronicles:

I started this blog in November 2009 and to my surprise, I have found that I absolutely LOVED the experience! I’ve (virtually) met thousands of people across the world through The Culinary Chronicles — all because we share a common appreciation and fascination for food. Seriously—it just doesn’t get any cooler than that.

Thanks so much for stopping in! If you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at theculinarychronicles@gmail.com

And please be sure to follow us at:

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86 thoughts on “About

  1. Cousin, you are too cute. Mo Dung was definitely awesome at making Vietnamese goodies where the resources were scarce. My mom would tell me stories of how she would whip up banh bao using the flour she had on hand. The fact that she even made my mom’s ao khan dong reveals superstar-ness that you and your sisters obviously inherited!

  2. Nam! How awesome! You certainly are a woman of many talents :] And one of my heroes at SJSU. Funny, I found your site while reading reviews about surf schools on yelp. “Is this…? Wait, no way, it can’t be!” Oh, but it was…the one and only Naaaam! (Whooo!)

    Ok, I’ll stop tooting your horn now. But I subscribed to your blog, so I’m excited to read more about your ‘food-ventures’. Of I go, back to that time-consuming but knowledge-expanding world of yelp…

    peace out, yo!

      1. yes, i am doing well. thanks :] just read your post about the trip to neuva york. have a safe trip! and a whole lotta’ moments of blissful foodie indulgences.


        ps. hope you brought some sturdy, nicely insulated boots. strangely, chunky odd-looking ones with the fleece lining will keep your feet warm and happy if you’re going to do a lot of walking.

  3. Nam, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I also work at SJSU (Housing) and write a blog, but it really couldn’t be further away from yours! It’s always about diet and nutrition, oh and I am NOT a photographer.

    I do splurge and eat so many wonderful, heavenly thngs when I am not competing, your blog has given me some great ideas!

    Hope to bump into you at a meeting or event someday, I will look for the gal with the camera!

    1. Thank You SO much Kristy!!!

      Let me please say that you’re a SUPER WOMAN! Wow! I was so impressed when I read your blog. Great info and tips! I love how much you share–especially the personal stories as it makes your posts so relatable.

      I think we met briefly years ago through Do Quyen (Diana Tran). She’s a dear friend of mine and when she worked at SJSU, I was always hanging out in her office. 🙂

      As for me, I just left SJSU a month ago. I had been at the university for some time—and it was just time for me to move on and discover new opportunities 🙂 Plus it has given me more time in the kitchen.

      Hopefully we can meet at one of Do Quyen’s next functions?? Hope so!

      ps. OH! If you ever in need of another blog to peruse, you should check out my cousin’s site as she’s a Registered Dietitian and has a great blog 🙂 She’s at http://www.nutritiontokitchen.com

  4. Hi, Nam! Tuong sent an email to your site. I truly enjoyed your blog. Funny I do the same thing but I don’t blog anymore. It’s been so long since I saw you. Keep up the good work!

  5. I am sooooo happy to find your blog! I am new to photography, and I am self taught chef;-) I love your photos! I am trying to learn and grow from others who enjoy photography as much as I do. I look forward to enjoying all your beautiful blogs!
    Take care,

  6. Hi Nam!

    My name is Julie and I’m coming from the place of your dreamy vacations…;)
    It’s been 2 years that I left Greece, though, in order to follow my love in France and I live there ever since.
    I guess that’s why your comment moved me so much.
    I feel we have many things in common, even if we have never met before.
    I wish you the best of luck in everything you’re willing to do (your blog, btw, is awesome!)
    and who knows, maybe one day I could give you some tips about visiting Greece.
    I would be glad to help.

    Have a sweet and sunny day,


  7. Thisis lovely Nam. I did not know you use egg white as well when preparing the coating. I usuallyuse beaten eggs. Now I’ll omit the yoke.
    Thank you. I shall try your recipe this weekend.
    So long

  8. Hello Nam!
    I just wanted to say thank you for just being you! You are such a wonderful cook and inspiration! I cooked the chicken picatta last week and with my first bite, I fell in love! All your recipes look amazing and I’m following all your previous and upcoming recipes from here on out! I am looking forward to your next creation!

  9. Hello Nam!

    You have a lovely site here! I just came back from Vietnam 2 weeks ago and I loved it’s cuisine and I want to learn it – that’s how I found you :). I have one more fact about you 😉 Do you know that in Finnish Nam means yum? 😉 It fits quite well to your blog 🙂 Greetings from Finland!

  10. I love Vietnamese-style fish, and this is no exception. But I especially wanted to say how beautiful your mom is. What a precious photo!

  11. Hi Nam! I got to your blog from Tastespotting. The mushroom ragout looked incredible! My new food obsession is banh mi so I’m happy to find your Vietnamese recipes. Looking forward to great tastes!

  12. I just discovered your blog through Tasty Kitchen. One of my best friends from High School is Vietnamese. Her mom used to make these fabulous beef sandwiches. The beef was cut really thin and marinated for a while…it was always so tender. Nothing else was added to the sandwiches, just the beef. Do you have a recipe? Could you blog it? Or do you know where I could find one? Thanks for your help! Your blog is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. 🙂

  13. Hi Nam,

    I just found your blog. I love all the delicious food you have posted. I also love the photography tab because I have the same picture you took from Monterey Aquarioum. That place is so beautiful, I can sit and watch the giant tank for hours.

    I look forward to reading more

  14. Nice Blog, My girlfriend and I just enjoyed some Lemongrass Mojitos! In other news, I bet you’d like Thao Nguyen’s music and appreciate her background, she plays a lot in CA, too.

  15. Summer of 2011, I was trying, desperately, to find a good recipe for eggs benedict. I love them. I would happily die of high cholesterol if it meant eating them every day. I came across your blog with your recipe for Mediterranean style eggs benedict, and I’ve made it four or five times now. Flawless.
    You are wonderful. You’ve become my guilty pleasure on the internet. Thank you for your posts, your inspiration, your beautiful, delicious recipes (I don’t mind when you’ve gone through 5 boxes of butter in 10 days…).
    I don’t know if you take requests, but I would love to see you post a recipe for beef stroganoff. I have no doubt that yours will be much yummier than the one I am about to attempt (for the first time) from a random google search.
    Either way, keep it up!
    ❤ Jaquie

  16. Hi Nam! I just stumbled upon your blog after seeing your Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelee post on Tasty Kitchen. Your recipes, your pictures, your humorous and heartfelt writing make it really easy to stay glued to the screen all day! I can’t wait until I have more time to really go through your site (I have a 3-year-old who is wreaking havoc as I type).

    I’ve lived in Hawaii all my life, and you totally look and shaka like a local girl! I see that you’ve been to the Big Island. Maybe a visit to Oahu is due soon? =)

    Keep up the fabulous work, I look forward to discovering more of it! A hui hou ❤

  17. Hi Nam,

    I tried to reach you through email, but I haven’t heard back, so I’m hoping you’ll see this comment. I’m writing to you on behalf Bon Appétit Magazine. We’re making a slideshow on our website of the web’s best red velvet recipes and we love your recipe and photo for Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies. In order to put them online, we need a high resolution image. Would it be possible for you to email me the original photo you have of the Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies? As well as how you’d like to be credited?

    Sara Claro

  18. Hi Nam, You have a great blog! I love your food and photos. I am going to try some of what I have already seen. I’ll be back to explore more. Looking forward to seeing your new posts too. Fae. 🙂

  19. Hi Nam,

    I recently moved to Hawaii from LA, and was in desperate need of authentic Vietnamese food because the island I’m on doesn’t really have much to offer, and I happened to stumble upon your blog! I just wanted to let you know that your recipes are AMAZING, and I can’t wait to try each one. Your banh mi and bun, were so tasty! It’s also really weird to me how many things we have in common. Just wanted to drop by and say hi and thanks! Keep on blogging =)

  20. Hi Nam! Love the site! We are searching for a gift for my aunt, who is my inspiration for cooking. We were thinking about some different oils/spices, can you recommend where to browse? Thank you!

    Fight on! 🙂

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