Tony Nguyen talks The Globe and flavor inspirations, interview

Contestant Tony Nguyen, as seen on The Globe, Season 1. Photo provided by Food Network
Contestant Tony Nguyen, as seen on The Globe, Season 1. Photo provided by Food Network /

On the Food Network and Discovery+ show, The Globe, Tony Nguyen takes on the challenge of this new culinary game play. While competition has the chefs traveling the globe virtually, this food adventure opens a world of possibilities.

One of the chefs taking on The Globe challenge is Tony Nguyen. As the Executive Chef of Crustacean Restaurant and the new Da Lat Rose in Beverly Hills, Nguyen offers his take on innovative, refined Modern Asian cuisine. With a robust culinary background, Nguyen has transformed his many experiences into the food that he presents today.

As one of the chefs competing in The Globe, Nguyen’s diverse background can help him tackle these culinary challenges. Whether it is using an unlikely kitchen essential or incorporating various flavors, Nguyen is ready to pack his bags for this next great culinary adventure.

Tony Nguyen shares his culinary insight with FoodSided.

While Nguyen has worked with many of the culinary elite, two chefs have impacted many of his choices in the kitchen. When talking about mentors, he had this to say.

“I have had many great mentors throughout my career but two that stick out are: 1. Rick Moonen, for teaching me the importance of cooking with sustainable seafood and the importance of using responsible fishing practices to serve fish that are not going extinct due to over eating and over fishing, and 2. Helene An, named as the creator of Asia Fusion because of her mentorship and her philosophy of yin and yang cooking. Yin and yang cooking is all about balance- whether that be the balance between sweet and salty, or balancing out flavors in a dish with different seasonings and herbs, or always finishing a piece of heavier meat or seafood with a bit of acidity. I also learned the importance of cooking light and cooking with fresh herbs from Helene.

Both Moonen’s and An’s influences can be seen in Nguyen’s approach to food. While his food has been describes as “modern, inspired and tailored,” some of those descriptions stem from his travels around the world.

Nguyen said, that travel has “100 percent” helped his success in The Globe. In addition, he revealed, “I’m afraid to travel to Japan because I have a feeling it would really affect the way I cook my dishes. I loved traveling to Singapore, and of course when I came home I was doing my rendition of Singapore Chili Crab with soft shell crabs! After leaving Hong Kong, I had a better understanding of roast duck and dim sum to be able to put my modern twist on dumplings. Travel is great as you can see how the rest of the world eats. It makes a huge difference- for example, in Spain, they eat later in the evening and love having tapas with their cava! It inspired me to make smaller sized snacks to allow my customers to try more of my menu.”

Even though travel has been limited in the past year, more and more people are wanting to explore global flavors and ingredients. With guests being receptive to more choices, it can allow chefs to push people’s palates.

Nguyen believes, “I think we are in a great place currently as more diners are becoming foodies! They are more educated and curious when it comes to food. I would love to open a restaurant back home in the Midwest with a huge array of seafood, specifically focusing on modern Asian flavors! You don’t see much of that in St. Louis.”

Even as people start to appreciate different foods and flavors, sometimes there can be some connections that might not always be obvious. Still, those subtle connections make the bridge between cultures and cuisines even stronger.

For example, Nguyen shared this connection. “I love how in both Vietnam and in France, people shop for just that day, or at most, two days at a time when they go out to the market. They make an event out of going to the market to get the freshest produce and seafood for that evening’s dinner.”

Even though those connections might be present, sometimes the visual needs to spark that curiosity on the plate. Without the plate capturing the attention and starting that craving to actually taste the food, the dish is missing an element.

Nguyen believes, “I 100% think about the visual aspect. I think first and foremost, the dish needs to taste good and make people want to come back for more, but the visual aspect is so important. Not only do I try to make my dishes look pretty and appetizing, but I also can create a certain “wow factor” out of my presentation! I have always wanted to go to a museum and plate food on museum art pieces.”

Whether or not that dinner will be presented next to an amazing art find remains to be seen, but it is a reminder to appreciate all the aesthetics of enjoying a great meal. When all the senses are employed, the dish is even more enjoyable.

Although The Globe does not have an open seat for Food Network viewers to enjoy a taste of these foods, Nguyen does enjoy viewers to try a new food trend. He believes that chili oils are a must and even has his own brand, at

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Tony Nguyen is the chef at Crustacean Restaurant and Da Lat Rose in Beverly Hills.

The Globe can be streamed on Discovery+. It stars Robert Irvine, rotating chefs, and various judges.