Raised in Seattle with roots in California and Vietnam, Helen Nguyen has always had a passion for food. After a decade in real estate business and sales, she pursued her passion and moved to New York and attended the Institute of Culinary Education.
While at school, she started an apprenticeship at L’Appart under Chef Nicolas Abello, who led his team to their first Michelin star within the first few months of opening and then worked her way into the kitchen of Chef Daniel Boulud’s famed Restaurant Daniel. There she trained with the Feast and Fetes catering and private events team for 3 years.
Though trained in classic French, Vietnamese comfort food is where her heart resides. Helen started sharing her love for food, culture, and community via monthly popups and eventually opened Saigon Social, her first restaurant, in 2019. Saigon Social is a casual spot serving up Vietnamese comfort food with a menu rooted in the food that Helen ate as a child but plated and presented with the elegance of Helen’s fine-dining background.