Meet Hando Youssouf - Chef-founder of Vietnam Away in New York

Updated: Feb 1

When gastronomy, reflexology, and Vietnamese martial Arts come together around a philosophy of well-being, there is a better understanding about the world around us and challenges arise in order to transform them into opportunities.

Photo: Cécile Delepière

"We must realize that what happens is an opportunity for change.

We must seize this chance.”

The self-taught Hando Youssouf, of Indian-Chinese-Vietnamese origin and born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, has travelled the world. After working in Denmark, he and his brothers opened the most famous Parisian restaurants: Paris Hanoi and The Little Hanoi, featuring inventive cuisine rooted in Vietnamese tradition. Fascinated by martial arts, Hando learned the art of Vô Vietnam from the master Nguyen Duc Moc whom he describes as a beacon in his life. This practice, combined with Vietnamese reflexology, in which he was also trained, represent the fundamentals of a philosophy in which food is a way to nourish the body and soul. Hando and his family moved to New York in 2019 with a new project in mind: creating a space where he could bring people together around his values about integrated living: reflexology, martial art, gastronomy, & art de vivre. As Hando says, “Even if the road isn't always as I planned, I’m still on that road with the same overwhelming desire to thrive in New York City by doing what I love.” The wisdom gained from his past experiences gives Hando the tools needed to face life and always move forward. With an existence being unquestionably turned towards the future and well-being, Hando seeks to pass on these values to his students through martial arts lessons and cooking classes.

Today, through the consulting company he created, Vietnam Away, Hando explores opportunities to launch his concept in the United States.

Welcome Hando to Chefs for Impact!

By Hando Youssouf as told to Chefs for Impact

How did you keep yourself busy the past few months?