Throughout her multiple careers as a Wall Street tech exec and Tribeca gallerist, Lan Tran Cao has dabbled in the culinary world—first in her native Vietnam, where she learned French patisserie, and then in Sydney, where she cooked in one Vietnamese restaurant and helped open another. Food and art are the best way to experience a culture, Cao believes, which is why on December 2 she’s opening VietCafé, next door to her Gallery Vietnam. She’s imported the café’s furniture from her homeland and assembled a team of French-trained chefs (including one from Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger) to prepare the bánh mì thit, bo bia, and pho bo she grew up with—freeing her to lead the occasional Chinatown shopping expedition and cooking class.
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(From the December 6, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.)