Tin Vuong approaches his role as chef-partner of Blackhouse Hospitality with the laser-sharp focus and creativity of a man who not only relishes quality, but demands it from his whole team. He curates the chef collaboration behind Blackhouse’s cooperative restaurant model, spearheading test-kitchen menu development and concept ideation. “Open communication is key,” he explains. “I drive the meetings, but I encourage our chefs to creatively challenge each other as we put together the menus.”
This emphasis on fostering a collaborative environment stems partly from Vuong’s childhood. Born in California to a Chinese family who fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon, Vuong witnessed his relatives each working multiple jobs to support themselves within the U.S. They would often all eat together at the end of a long day, choosing to dine out in Monterey Park around 11p.m. Years later, after Vuong completed his bachelor’s degree in economics at UCLA, he decided to channel his business skills with his passion for food by enrolling in the California Academy of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. Shortly after graduating, he became the executive sous chef at the St. Regis Hotel and Resort in Monarch Beach, CA, where he ultimately earned the responsibility of overseeing eight chefs and four restaurants. In 2012, he moved on from his position as director of culinary operations at Sapphire in Laguna Beach to become the executive chef of Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. Since that time, he has become the chief operator and chef-partner of Blackhouse Hospitality Group, guiding the inventive menus and innovative experiences of three Little Sister restaurants in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Downtown Los Angeles (which showcase the rich collisions of food and culture borne out of the European colonization of Southeast Asia and has garnered significant praise from notable food critics including Pulitzer Prize- winning writer Jonathan Gold who named it one of his “101 Best Restaurants” 2014-2018), Wildcraft in Culver City, Día de Campo in Hermosa Beach, Steak & Whisky in Hermosa Beach, and finally Bluegold and LSXO in Huntington Beach.
As a tutored sommelier and master of a variety of global cuisines, from Southeast Asia to France and Mexico, Vuong constantly looks for new approaches to old classics. He loves living in a city as dynamic and varied as Los Angeles that affords him the opportunity to explore those possibilities.