IN VIETNAMESE, “ĂN” MEANS “TO EAT”—a happy coincidence, since the An family has built an award-winning restaurant empire that spans five restaurants throughout California, including the famed Crustacean Beverly Hills. Helene An, the matriarch of the House of An, is hailed as the “mother of fusion” and has been celebrated for her signature style that brings together Vietnamese, French, and California farm-to-table influences — making a unique, modern cuisine that is completely her own. Now her daughter, Jacqueline, tells the family story and shares her mother’s delicious and previously “secret” recipes, including Drunken Crab, Wok Noodles, Oven-Roasted Lemongrass Chicken, and French Onion Pho, a James Beard Favorite Dish of 2015.
Helene’s transformation from pampered “princess” in French Colonial Vietnam, to refugee then award-winning restaurateur, and her journey from Indochina’s lush fields to California kitchen gardens are beautifully chronicled in Ăn: To Eat. It’s both a fascinating peek at a lost world, and the evolution of an extraordinary cuisine —featuring more than 100 recipes that could only have come from Helene’s personal story.
“It’s so wonderful: The An story, the An family, and especially the An food. Vietnamese royal cuisine meets L.A. flair.”
—ALAN RICHMAN, 16-time James Beard Foundation Award winner for food writing and GQ food correspondent.
“Chef Helene An’s talent for composing flavors is virtuosic. Her contribution to the Californian culinary landscape places her firmly in the ranks of Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. Ăn: To Eat grants us a peek at some her delectably covert recipes—after all, everyone loves a tasty secret.”
—EDDIE LIN, Los Angeles Times food writer