ACCENTED | Southeast Asian Food and Festivity

Viet Thanh Nguyen hosts an installment of ACCENTED about Southeast Asian food and celebration for DVAN.

The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) presents ACCENTED, a virtual series of programs that will feature a variety of writers, poets, artists, actors, filmmakers, scholars, and other cultural producers from the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora. Hosted by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, with co-host appearances by the She Who Has No Master(s) Collective, guests will engage in virtual conversations and discussions regarding their work, their stories, and their communities, with live Q&A sessions following each event.

This installation of ACCENTED: Dialogues in Diaspora will be Saturday, September 26th at 5:00 pm, hosted by Pulitzer-prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, and will feature chef Tu David Phu, scholar Mark Padoongpatt, and artist Erin O’Brien. In the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated across the Southeast Asian diaspora, the conversation will center around the significance of Southeast Asian food in the diaspora and the intersection of food, culture, and politics. Tickets available at

About the Guests:

Tu David Phu is a Vietnamese-American, Top Chef Alumnus, and SF Chronicle Rising Star Chef from Oakland. Chef Tu’s Vietnamese-California cuisine began garnering press and accolades, first in 2016 with his weekly pop up dinners “ĂN – a Vietnamese Dining Experience.”; then in 2017 San Francisco Chronicle named him Rising Star Chef. In 2019, he was a featured contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 and invited to host ABC’s Taste Buds: Chefsgiving which was nominated for a James Beard Award.As a first-generation, Vietnamese-American, food justice comes naturally to Chef Tu, who finds opportunities to use the medium of food as a vessel for meaningful work from cooking with incarcerated men in San Quentin; to being a community ambassador in Oakland working with Asian Health Services and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Tu’s involvement with food recovery and the Zero-Waste Movement is something else he got from his mother: During the Vietnam War, when supplies were rationed, she learned, out of necessity, that corn silk could be dried and used as tea or toasted, deep-fried, or sautéed to serve with rice. Chef Tu not only applies these Zero Waste principles in his own kitchen, he is a James Beard Smart Catch Leader, recognized for promoting the use of sustainable seafood options; and an avid teacher, sharing the riches and lessons of his birthright through food.

Genevieve Erin O’Brien is a Queer Vietnamese/Irish/German artist with 20+ years as a community organizer, trainer, cultural producer, and chef. O’Brien holds an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Fulbright Fellow to Vietnam in 2009. O’Brien has been a frequent lecturer in Asian American Studies. Their short film For The Love of Unicorns has screened internationally. O’Brien received the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles’ Creative Economic Development Fund in 2015 & 2016. As a US Dept. of State/ZERO1 American Arts Incubator Artist, O’Brien traveled to Hanoi to develop a digital media project highlighting LGBTQ visibility and equality in 2016. Recent works More Than Love on the Horizon and Sugar Rebels were commissioned by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The Critical Refugees Studies Collective of the University of California recently funded O’Brien’s current performance series “Refugee Resistance Menu.” O’Brien, once a butcher’s apprentice, is also a private chef and chef/owner of sausage enterprise Meat My Friends ( Visit for more information.

Mark Padoongpatt is Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California in 2011. His researches and writes on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the twentieth-century United States, with a focus on empire, migration, race, and urban and suburban cultures. His book, Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America (University of California Press, 2017), explores how and why Thai food shaped the contours of Thai American community and identity since World War II. He’s currently writing a book and developing a podcast series on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Las Vegas titled “Neon Pacific,” which explores histories of race, space, and placemaking in Vegas.

About the Host:

Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of The Sympathizer, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, The Refugees, and Race and Resistance: Literature, Politics and Asian America. His most recent book was Chicken of the Sea, done with his son Ellison. His next book is The Committed, the sequel to The Sympathizer.

About the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network

This program is sponsored by the DVAN@SFSU Project of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. All funds raised for ACCENTED will go towards supporting DVAN’s mission to promote voices and stories of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora and connect them to diasporic communities all over the globe. DVAN is partnering with Eastwind Books of Berkeley for all book sales and shipping, and books from featured authors will be available on for a discounted price. For more information about the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) please visit our website at or follow us on Instagram (@weare_dvan)

DVAN believes that the stories, imaginaries, and poetics of a thriving Vietnamese diaspora can unite our global community. Our mission is to celebrate and foster diasporic Vietnamese voices. DVAN presents nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to empower Vietnamese artists in the diaspora and to promote understanding and dialogue within our community, and with others. Our complex and diverse stories must be championed and passed on to current and future generations. We are refugees, immigrants, survivors, and descendants, and our stories must be heard.

Category: Events


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *