It’s a big part of who I am,” says Tu David Phu, who grew up in Oakland eating the foods of his parents’ native Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island. A former chef at Gather in Berkeley, Phu has recently been hosting seaweed-themed pop-up dinners that highlight his heritage. “It’s very healthy. It’s very plentiful. It’s very cutting edge.”

Phu even plans to open a seaweed-centric restaurant, and recently began teaming up on the pop-ups with Kevin Kelley, the winemaker and founder of Salinia Wine Co. The name of Kelley’s winery reflects his interest in natural wines with mineral, saline qualities, such as his Wellspring Solera Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. He paired that wine with Phu’s fresh tapioca noodles, tossed with egg yolks and shrimp and topped with chain bladder (Cystoseira osmundacea) seaweed, which adorned the dish like a string of tiny, briny Christmas tree lights.
— San Francisco Chronicle
"An all-inclusive, six-course meal paying homage to Chinese, Szechuan, Filipino, Korean, and Thai, this particular meal was sponsored by Glenfiddich, and organized by Chef Tu David Phu (formerly of Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerollo and Daniel Boulud) who teamed with chefs: Tim Luym of Buffalo Theory, Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage, Shawn Naputi of Prubechu and Savanara Jake Tith."

"An all-inclusive, six-course meal paying homage to Chinese, Szechuan, Filipino, Korean, and Thai, this particular meal was sponsored by Glenfiddich, and organized by Chef Tu David Phu (formerly of Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerollo and Daniel Boulud) who teamed with chefs: Tim Luym of Buffalo Theory, Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage, Shawn Naputi of Prubechu and Savanara Jake Tith."

Cochon555 & the launch of Piggy Bank:

A Late-night Asian Speakeasy Pop-up in Culinary/Culture rich San Francisco 2016

Praesent id libero id metus varius consectetur ac eget diam. Nulla felis nunc, consequat laoreet lacus id.
— Claire C.
RECAP: FARM TO FORK SF POP-UP DINNER WITH CHEF TU DAVID PHU

”The five-course dinner was nothing short of decadent, leaving guests full and happy. Biển (Sea) proved to be a night for Phu to showcase his talents and highlight the different ways that seafood can be consumed. Above all, the event demonstrated just how important it is to be responsible with our food, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Slide Ranch, a program for underprivileged students to learn about sustainable farming.”
— http://dothebay.com/p/recap-farm-to-fork-sf-pop-up-dinner-with-chef-tu-david-phu
As for why Phu departed, he says he left Gather to devote himself to his new weekly pop-up ventures, AN, in which he explores the food of his Vietnamese heritage, as interpreted through a California lens.
— http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2016/03/10/at-berkeleys-gather-one-chef-is-out-and-another-returns/

ART & ENTERTAIN ME

Chef Tu David Phu – a forager and an inventor of new dishes – will put on your table a number of seemingly uncomplicated creations of such subtle beauty you won’t believe you are sitting in a casual all-day café, frequented by mommies with kiddies and laptop junkies, and not in an upscale establishment in the Financial District.   


THE MONTHLY.COM

"I've got to fill Sean Baker's shoes," Phu says of Gather's celebrated original executive chef who left last year for Gather's fledgling San Francisco sister-restaurant, Verbena. It closed then reopened, sans Baker, this spring as Reverb. Phu has chops, having been at Saul's Deli in Berkeley, Flora in Oakland, Precita Park Cafe in San Francisco, and Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne in New York City.


EASTBAY EXPRESS

"Tu David Phu, the chef at Berkeley’s Gather, will kick off an ongoing dinner series exploring his Vietnamese heritage — or, as Phu puts it, his “interpretation of Vietnamese Cuisine as an Asian American in California.” Naturally, diners can expect more of an Asian focus than they would typically find at Gather, but the menu — with dishes such as pork jowl kho smoked in hay and rosemary, and Earl Grey annin tofu — makes no pretense of being strictly traditional."

ALAMEDAMAGAZINE.COM

“At Gather in Berkeley, executive chef Tu David Phu—who grew up in Oakland watching his parents make kimchi, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and pickles—pairs his house-made pickled-cucumber yogurt with pork belly.”


BERKELEYSIDE.COM

Opening chef Sean Baker first shined the spotlight on Gather in part due to his innovative vegetarian dish preparations, highlighted by his famed vegan charcuterie dish. Now—after a year of Charis Wahl in charge following Baker’s departure to start the short-lived Verbena in the city—west Oakland native Tu David Phu takes the helm at the downtown...


GAYOT

Chef Tu David Phu works in the open kitchen with the focus and artistic skill of a musician, arranging dishes from pure ingredients that sing of the land or water from which they came. Tuna tartare rounds with salsa verde, potato mousse and oyster aïoli carry large fried nori fins.....