For Chef Anh Luu, Combining Cajun, Vietnamese Flavors Comes Naturally In Her Cuisine

Life Stories: Anh Luu

Aug. 18, 201603:55

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

From her first restaurant job as a teenager in New Orleans to finishing second on Food Network's "Chopped," Anh Luu is no stranger to the heat of the kitchen.

"I love food and culinary arts because it can be interpreted differently by everyone, and everyone has different taste buds," Luu, executive chef at Tapalaya in Portland, Oregon, told NBC News.

The daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Luu describes her style of cooking as "traditional Cajun/creole food utilizing Vietnamese ingredients." It's a blending of styles that she adds isn't exactly "fusion," but "more like a regional American cuisine."

Look for new "Life Stories" videos published on Thursdays beginning in May and through September. Episodes can be watched on, NBC Asian America's Facebook page, NBC News' official YouTube channel, and the NBC News app available on mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

"Life Stories" is part of "NBC Asian America Presents...," a new video channel that will feature documentaries centered around themes and voices found in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Catch up on more videos online at


Follow NBC Asian America on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.