Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.
Patrick was completely self taught, he learned his cooking skills from his mom and Chef Phong (he was there in the early days, at one of their other restaurants Broken Rice as a food consultant), he taught Patrick care for the knives and instruments, while his mom taught him the recipes, and palate tasting as you have to know the flavours.
After high-school, Patrick went to school for writing at SFU for Communications and VFS for screenwriting, at the same time he worked as a server at Broken Rice in Burnaby. He had ideas and conceptualized what he thought the dishes should be like. After serving he started learning all the stations in the kitchen and worked his way up the ladder. In 2016, he opened House Special with his sister in Yaletown.
You can follow Patrick Do on Instagram @pt.do
Did you have any experience running a restaurant before opening House Special?
Personally, I used to run a supper-club with my college friends. My room-mate was the chef and he did elaborate dinners out of our condo in the westend once a month $1500 for 6 people and this paid our rent for the month. I learned how to sous-vide from him and other techniques.
As a kid growing up, were you interested in Cooking?
No, I was interested in film and graphic design.
What was your favourite dish you mom made for you growing up?
Banh Tam Bi – shredded pork skin, tapioca noodles, fish sauce and coconut milk. It sounds odd, but all these ingredients together was my favourite dish.
Did your mom cook for you Growing up?
Not really, I either ate at our restaurant or out at other restaurants.
What is your family history?
Chinese and Vietnamese
What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?
Fresh herbs – mint and basil
Spices – cardamom
What are your Favourite restaurants outside of where you work?
Dressed pea tips
Pickled red onions
Rice cooked in cast iron
This dish was one of my favourites growing up. It’s always been on our family menus and when we opened House Special we wanted to present it in a different way so we used cast iron.
What are your Hobbies and Interests?
Go out for dinner
What is your view on Modern Vietnamese cooking?
If I was in Vietnam and I came up with these ideas they would think it was fusion progression. A lot of people expect the familiarity from the past years, also in Vietnam; cuisine changes, ideas change.
What’s the new Pho in Vietnam now?
Stone Bowl Pho
Pork spring roll
24 hour braised pork belly
A dish that every Vietnamese kid has had growing up, I used to sneak into the kitchen to make this dish in my childhood.
What do you do differently at House Special that celebrates Vietnamese cuisine?
As I do things differently it is a natural progression of the cuisine. It is about flavour, texture etc to service the dish.
Bun Bo Hue
Traditional spicy lemongrass pork noodle soup
Another childhood favourite.
What can people look forward to in the next chapter of House Special?
We are planning the next step, launching brunch by the summer. I want to be at the forefront of new flavour profiles, fruits and such that we can’t get fresh here imported from Vietnam.
Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.
By: Richard Wolak