Chef Bac Nguyen
Executive Chef, Ninja City Kitchen and Bar
In less than a decade, Bac Nguyen's traditional-meets-modern spin on Asian fusion has galvanized Cleveland's restaurant scene.
Nguyen was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1985. His family put down roots in Lakewood, especially on the restaurant side. His mother — an opera singer by trade — owned the beloved Chinese/Vietnamese eatery Chinese Village, and co-ran Minh Van with Nguyen's grandmother.
Running a restaurant of his own wasn't on Nguyen's plate — at least at first. As a kid, he always dreamt of one day being a comic book artist. But, after graduating from Rocky River High School, he took a more mainstream approach by earning a degree in psychology from Case Western Reserve University. From there, he worked for an industrial supplies company.
Yet, Nguyen soon discovered a square day job wasn't his speed. Today, he is most known for his quirky hotspot in Gordon Square known as Ninja City Kitchen and Bar.