Rising Star Chef Jon Nguyen of Tran An - Biography

Miami, FL

February 2021

Even before Jon Nguyen wanted to be a chef, his grandfather encouraged him to open a Vietnamese restaurant. With a huge Vietnamese community, his hometown of Houston was bursting with bánh mì and pho shops, and his grandfather believed that Nguyen could eventually create one of the greats. He started down a different route, studying government at the University of Texas Austin. But after graduating in 2005, he found himself barbacking at Benjy’s in the Village in Houston, where he worked beside his first mentor, Restaurateur Benjy Levit. In 2009, Nguyen moved to Hanoi to work for his uncle’s retail business. Although he absorbed the food culture around him, Nguyen quickly realized that he did not belong in the retail industry or Vietnam.

After a stint in Hong Kong, Nguyen enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Paris. He graduated in 2013 and moved to NYC to open Tien Ho’s Chelsea restaurant, Montmartre, followed by Danny Meyer’s The Modern. Nguyen took the jump to Miami in 2014 to consult for The Mondrian hotel. He was introduced to Dale Talde and eventually opened his South Beach restaurant, Talde, in the Thompson Hotel. In 2018, St. Roch Market approached Nguyen about opening his own concept. The business, a fast-casual Vietnamese shop, had been laid out in his head for years. All that was missing was a name; he decided on Tran An, named after his grandfather. Nguyen opened the stall in 2018 to instant success. Now with a brick-and-mortar sit-down location in the Little River neighborhood and a locally driven market next door called DYL’S (named after his son), Nguyen’s homestyle cooking and hospitality make every Miamian feel like family.