We’ve taken a few liberties with the traditional preparation.
Viet cooks love to grill thinly sliced pork; it's no wonder banh mi thit nuong is one of the ubiquitous options at Viet delis.
Shrimp cooked in caramel sauce (tom kho) is among my favorite Viet comfort foods.
Being a Top Chef contestant can be grueling and exhausting and crazy fun. When we're all wiped out from nonstop competition, we do what we do best: eat good food. Some of my most memorable meals with those talented chefs involved banh mi, traditional Vietnamese sandwiches that layer cured meats, sausages, and pickled vegetables in small, soft versions of French baguettes. I love anything with pickles and fresh cilantro! I've put those flavors in a burger patty here and sandwiched them in my favorite French roll: buttery brioche. The rich bread makes all the difference, as does high-quality pork.