Chef Minh Le
Chef Minh Le left Vietnam at age 7, living in refugee camps for two years until he was able to enter New Orleans. Because of immigration complications, he was placed with an American foster family by Catholic Charities, attending St. Paul’s School in Covington while he worked part-time in a Northshore seafood restaurant. “I pretty much grew up over there,” Le says of his time on the Northshore.
He transferred to Nicholls State University when the culinary program was in its infancy, and the rest is history. “That’s where I felt comfortable and I was good at it, almost a natural feel for being in the kitchen,” he explains. “I picked things up fast. Most of all, I enjoyed it.”
Le did his culinary externship working under Master Chef Kevin Graham in Las Vegas, NV. Le worked at Baton Rouge restaurants, then helped open a steakhouse in Houma. He spent time in kitchens at Le Meridien and Windsor Court hotels in New Orleans, where he gained experience working with top chefs and diverse food.
Now Le is opening his own restaurant, The Alumni Grill, near his alma mater in Thibodaux. The restaurant will serve burgers, salads, tacos, and barbecue lunch specials.
“It’s more of a neighborhood-type grill,” he says. “Keeping it affordable is my main objective.”