Issha Marie works to bring beloved Anh and Chi restaurant home
April 27, 2021
The pandemic hit Canadian restaurants incredibly hard. Stay-at-home meant no eating out resulting in 10,000 restaurants across Canada shuttering for good in 2020. In an arena in which 60% of restaurants fail within their first three years, survival is often predicated on your ability to adapt.
Anh and Chi, a beloved Vietnamese restaurant located in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood, can trace its roots back to the first-ever and longest standing pho house in Vancouver: Pho Hoàng. Hoàng and Lý Nguyen established the iconic restaurant in 1980 after arriving in Canada as boat people. Fast-forward forty years to brother and sister team (anh and chi is Vietnamese for elder brother and elder sister from the same family, as well as a respectful form of address for someone from your community) Vincent and Amélie Nguyen who followed in their parents’ footsteps (although mom’s are not far behind as she is the executive chef) and started Anh and Chi.
The pandemic forced this generational darling to pivot to a takeout model, creating unique, deconstructed meal kits of their signature dishes, so that their regulars and new fans could enjoy dining-in inside their own homes. Here’s where 2021 Photography Awards winner Issha Marie comes in. Marie and her team laid out the kits’ components and presented them against backdrops and foliage reminiscent of Vietnam’s vibrant food scene. The result is a beautiful blend of new solutions and heritage befitting the family-run restaurant. Here’s to another forty years.
See more of Marie's work at her website here and her Instagram here.