Today we’d like to introduce you to Executive Chef Thach Tran.
Executive Chef Thach, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I first fell in love with food on the streets of his birthplace in Saigon, Vietnam. At just seven years old, I began washing dishes at my grandmother’s noodle restaurants, where she patiently taught me to appreciate the intricacies of good food.
When I was nine years old, my grandmother sold her restaurants and moved the family to the U.S., hoping to find a better life. The convenience foods were my first introduction to American cuisine and left me feeling disappointed and confused. I began to study Western cooking, hoping to achieve a better understanding of American cuisine.
In 2010, I graduated from the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University. In August of 2017, I became the Executive Chef of Ace Eat Serve in Uptown. The lively dining room, ping-pong hall, bar, and patio perfectly complements my creative, interactive and authentically inspired culinary creations. At Ace, I have the opportunity to share my passion and experience cooking both Asian and American cuisine with the Denver dining community.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not always. I was 16 years old and needed a job, so I applied at restaurants because I felt comfortable in that environment. I started serving and then moved into the kitchen. I worked in a small seafood restaurant in Aurora and then at a barbecue spot to learn Southern food. Then I went to culinary school and entered cooking competitions, and actually earned a scholarship from a winning recipe.
Biggest obstacles now with the culinary industry is the need for good cooks. Too many restaurants and not enough cooks.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ace Eat Serve – what should we know?
I’m the Executive Chef at Ace Eat Serve. We offer modern Asian street food with a Southeast Asian focus. I’m known for my creative dishes including the popular Scallop & Shrimp X.O. Rice Pillows, Crazy Sichuan Shrimp Wontons, and Bao Buns, plus the Tiger Wings — an Ace classic.
Secret Sauce Food & Beverage (Ace, Steuben’s & Vesta) and Ace has provided the most supportive environment for their employees and I am most proud of the progress that Ace has been achieving though amazing reviews and accolades.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality that is most important to my success is passion and the ability to share it with others. Sharing my passion and vision for food has helped me surround myself with like-minded professionals throughout my career.
- Address: Ace Eat Serve, 501 E. 17th Ave. Denver 80203
- Website: https://www.aceeatserve.com/
- Phone: 303 800 7705
- Instagram: @ace_eat_serve
- Facebook: @AceEatServe
- Twitter: @AceEatServe
Ace Eat Serve