Fuelled by Pho is a two part blog series about how Carrots + Daikon first began and the people behind its creation. The first part of the series will be a little bio about me (David) and the reasoning behind starting C+D, and part two will tell the story of how Carrots + Daikon was founded by college friends and family and why Kentish Town was the ideal location for our little Vietnamese deli shop startup.
So you got your little introduction.. Lets begin by introducing myself, in case you didn't know, my name is David Chu, I’m 23 years old and was born in London to Vietnamese Chinese parents. In 2013, I graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Management degree and it so happens that I came up with the Vietnamese deli concept during the three years I spent at Brookes. In terms of work experiences, I haven’t really worked in a cafe/restaurant environment prior to opening up the shop, but I did spend 6 months working for EAT and operated my own popsicle and iced tea stalls in Camden Lock Market for the last three summers (Was so much fun, learnt lots and ate lots too :)).
I know what you might be thinking: ‘he hasn't got much experience in working with food, and yet he is starting up a deli.’ Yes, that might be true but age shouldn't mean anything, I've always believed that if you’re ambitious, driven and entrepreneurial then skies your limit, why shouldn't you challenge yourself?. Since I was 11, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, there was something about starting up a business that really excited me.. Not sure if it the thrill of researching up a potential concept, being in control and making all the decisions, planning and coordinating, managing people or just me craving self fulfilment and achievement. Whatever it was, I'm glad I followed it because I wouldn't be having so much fun or have the freedom at work to do what I want if I didnt have my friends and family there supporting me and my crazy ambitious plans and ideas (They've kept me grounded for sure).
Enough about me, lets get on to the food part of the blog.. So in case you didn't know already here at Carrots + Daikon we serve fresh and healthy homemade vietnamese street food made quick and easy for anyone looking for a quick delicious hot lunch on the go or a value for money dinner in the evening. We serve everything from rice or noodles boxes, fresh salads, Viet baguettes, fresh rolls, fried rolls and noodle soups, something for everyone, weather and season, quite literally aswell. You may think 'how did a uni graduate pull off something like this?' Well quite literally I wouldn't have pulled anything off if I didnt have my inspiration and C+D food creator there with me every step of the way and that person is my mum Ann.
Born and raised in Hanoi Vietnam, my mum loves cooking Vietnamese and Chinese food at home. Stuff like goi cuon (summer rolls), bun cha (grilled pork, salad and bun) and pho (noodle soup) was always on the menu at our household, it was awesome, everything was always so fresh and healthy and making the summer rolls was fun to make and easy to eat. Safe to say without my mum's recipes and cooking skills then there wouldn't be Carrots + Daikon in the first place so do thank her if you see her in the evenings :)
My favourite food growing up was by far my mum's Chicken Pho (coincidentally also our best seller); broth made with chicken bones, ginger and onions and hand-shedded free range chicken meat; everything you want in a meal is in a single bowl of pho (protein, carb, veg etc). In Vietnam, pho can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.. I challenge you to find another dish that can place claim to satisfying the needs of the three most important meals of the day. As you can probably tell I love pho with all my heart and soul, it was clear to me after eating my mum's chicken pho (above photo) that Vietnamese cuisine in particularly pho has the potential to be the next big Asian food trend to hit the UK. We've had bubble tea (Taiwanese flavoured tea based drink), bao (Tawianese steamed buns) and kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage) as the hot Asian trends of the past, I predict that Vietnamese food and pho (not forgetting banh mi) will soon have its time in the spotlight and when that day comes I want Carrots + Daikon to be at the forefront of it all (Thats my aim for the future).
Well thats about it for Part 1, hope you've enjoyed my latest blog, the final part of the Fuelled by Pho series is coming soon.
P.s Sorry for the delay in posting this blog a week late, it was super hectic the past 2 weeks .
Carrots + Daikon