Viet Pham grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with parents who loved food and cooking. His upbringing inspired him to pursue a career in food, and he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2002. While attending school, Pham interned at Michelin-starred Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, CA under award-winning chef Laurent Gras. Pham relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2009 and opened Forage Restaurant with his business partner in July 2009. Though a unique concept in the Salt Lake City restaurant scene, Forage Restaurant was well-received by the community and quickly emerged as the top eatery in the area; it won Salt Lake Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2010, Best Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2011, and Pham won Best Chef from the magazine in 2012.
Pham won Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011, after receiving a nomination from the magazine the previous year for People’s Best New Chef: Southwest. The James Beard Foundation nominated him as a Semi-Finalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In 2012, Pham participated in Food Network’s show Extreme Chef where he was runner-up. He also competed on the network’s marquee program, Next Food Network Star in 2013 and defeated Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America as well as Kitchen Inferno, which aired in the fall of 2014. Pham also appear as a “Pro Chef” on NBC’s Food Fighters July 2015. Currently, Pham is a host of National Geographic’s “Fusion Forager.” Pham has appeared in Bon Appetit, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, and The Salt Lake Tribune and many other national publications. In the summer of 2017, Pham will open his new restaurant, Pretty Bird, in Salt Lake City, Utah.