Chef Thai Dang was born in Vietnam and raised outside of Washington D.C. in Virginia. His passion for the culinary world and family values stem from the kitchen table, where he learned to build bonds and relationships through food. He grew up celebrating the flavors and recipes his mother and sisters brought from Vietnam, but the limited resources for authentic ingredients during the early years resulted in a different lens of Vietnamese food in America.
He went on to attend L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, mastering French cuisine and techniques. After years of honing his craft at highly-regarded establishments throughout D.C.; he moved to Chicago. He joined Michelin-starred restaurants, interjecting his love for fresh flavors and his contemporary approach to technique and presentation.
In 2013, Dang teamed with his wife and another couple to open Embeya in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Here, Dang was able to define and reinvent flavors and textures found throughout Southeast Asia using French techniques to create an original approach to what he termed as “Progressive Asian” cuisine. As the Embeya chapter closed, the husband and wife duo traveled back to his home country to taste and experience the new Vietnam, but also find inspiration from the old. This launched the idea for “HaiSous: Vietnamese Kitchen” bringing a true taste of Vietnam to the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen.
HaiSous was nominated for 2018 semifinalist for Best New Restaurant by James Beard and awarded a Bib Gourmand 2018-2019 by Michelin. Additional accolades include Plate Magazine’s Chefs to Watch 2018, Chicago Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant: 2018” at #3; Jean Banchet “Rising Chef of the Year” in 2014.