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PROFESSION: Chef at Bushi-Tei in San Francisco
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S. from California Culinary Academy
Nicole Lou’s Vietnamese heritage and upbringing has always centered on food -- enjoying elaborate claypot cuisine, assembling egg rolls alongside her cousins and preparing duck that had been freshly slaughtered in the backyard. After years in a corporate cubicle, Lou enrolled in the California Culinary Academy where she began pursuing her interests of simple, global cuisine focusing on pork, offal and various styles of charcuterie. As a student, Lou apprenticed at the world-famous Nobu in New York City and later returned to the Bay Area where she worked her way up to Sous Chef for Robbie Lewis at Bacar. Her love of the pig brought her to Perbacco, where she helped Stefan Terje win the 2010 Cochon 555. Lou has extensive experience in Mediterranean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but would like to now focus on her Vietnamese roots. Nicole has plans to take time off and travel through Southeast Asia to learn more cooking techniques and eating rituals.