Macy-Châu Diễm Trần is a Vietnamese American dreamer, food lover and proud Midwest Asian. Her roots begin at Pho 79 Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which her family opened in the ’80s and continues to operate. She has also been blessed to grow her roots in Wisconsin, Vietnam and now Bangkok, Thailand, where she is currently working at Courageous Kitchen, an organization that supports urban refugee youth through food and language education, mentorship and food security.
Macy Châu Trần
For most of my life, the kitchen has been a foreboding space. Vivid feelings of inadequacy, frustration and fear weighed heavy in the air, ironically juxtaposed with the homey scents of my mom’s bánh bông lan or bún riêu. The kitchen was my mom’s kingdom where she reigned with uninterrupted rhythm, and I neither felt invited nor did I know how to make space for myself there. Even when she commissioned me for help, she was always quick to remind me that I was too slow, getting in her way and asking too many questions.