Chef, restaurateur and Northwest culinary influencer Thoa Nguyen was born in Saigon and raised in Cho Lon, the city's Chinatown district. In April 1975, at the age of 11, Thoa and her family left Vietnam for America and settled in Denver, Colorado. She then moved to Washington State in 1991 and quickly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and the bounty found in its fields, pastures and waters.
Serial entrepreneur Chef Thoa opened her first restaurant to accolades in 1996, the Pan Asian, Chinoise Café. Chinoise grew to three locations by 2000. She also opened The Islander on the southern border of Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle in 2003 and Wabi-Sabi Sushi Bar & Restaurant and the award winning Thoa’s Restaurant & Lounge, both in 2009.
Chef Thoa’s restaurants are trend-setting in merging cuisines that span across the Asian continent with Northwest sensibilities. Chef/owner Thoa is a purist, who seeks out the very best ingredients and prepares authentic, yet approachable food that her loyal customers crave. She has been able to adapt her operations in an ever changing business landscape and economy and has managed to have her restaurants thrive.
Chef Thoa currently owns and operates Chinoise in Issaquah Highlands and Wabi-Sabi Sushi Bar & Restaurant.
Chef Thoa lives on Mercer Island east of Seattle, with her husband Barry and their two children. When she is not working in one of her restaurants she likes to cook, shop, travel, and create art work.