Master Chef Helene An is the guiding culinary spirit behind the An family’s umbrella company, House of AN, which owns and operates five restaurants and a catering business in California. The flagship location, Crustacean Beverly Hills, has become an L.A. dining institution spanning two decades that showcases Chef Helen An’s signature Asian Fusion cuisine, a culinary genre which she has been called “mother of fusion.” Other House of AN restaurants include AnQi in Orange County; and An Catering and Tiato Kitchen Bar Garden + Venue in Santa Monica. San Francisco is home to the original Crustacean and their first restaurant, founded in 1971, Thanh Long.
Chef An’s culinary philosophy favors tastes and flavors that are simple, refined and light. Helene grew up in French colonial Vietnam and her California Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on healthy Vietnamese herbs and spices, remains inspired by her background in the healing properties of Eastern medicine. As a young girl she grew passionate about food, as Helene’s parents entertained nightly and intrigued, she would often sneak into the kitchen and observe the family’s three chefs at work -- a Chinese, Vietnamese and French — which reflected the cultural and culinary traditions of Indochine. When she arrived in San Francisco in the early '70s, Helene learned about the American palate and began adding the recipes of her youth to her repertoire of dishes, fusing Asian and Western flavors.