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Meet Chef Gary Nguyen of The Herbal Chef in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Gary Nguyen.

As a former Sous Chef at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica and former Chef de Tournant at Alma Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, Gary Nguyen has shown to be a versatile member and key aspect on any culinary team. Not only does he work diligently and meticulously in the kitchen, he also manages and maintains high-quality standards in an innovative apron company that he co-founded, called Cork District. After the start-up of Cork District in 2014, chef Gary traveled to Melbourne, Australia, in hopes of expanding his knowledge and creativity in the culinary world. He is also last year’s 2016 honoree for Zagat 30 under 30 list. His current project is the culinary director/partner at The Herbal Chef with the mission to destigmatize cannabis.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s definitely been a rough roller coaster and yet the storm has just begun. Some of the struggles would be starting a business and then maintaining a business. It’s a trial and error, you don’t know how thick your skin is until you are put under these extreme pressure, working endless hours and not seeing the end of the tunnel. But I love every second of it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The herbal Chef is a unique company as the golden standard for anything culinary and cannabis. We take extreme pride in what we do, taking your experience to a whole new high. The time you are greeted by the first glass of water you receive, we focus on the multi-course tasting menu with the accent of cannabis. I’m most proud that we are able to create a new business to the culinary world with proper usage of cannabis. What sets us apart is we are the first to do this and we hold to our standards over and over again.

What were you like growing up?
The quality that I feel that is important to my success is I never give up on any opportunities. There’s always good and bad deals but you will never know unless you give it a try. But now, we are able to pick and choose who we want to work with and that’s the beauty of it.


  • 10-course tasting menu with wine + cannabis ranges from $200-$500 per person

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Johnathan Park, Hannah Park

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