Faces of the Industry: Lien Lin
Photo credit: Edward Lin
Lien Lin, of Bricolage in Park Slope, is a Badass Female Chef in Asian Food. Chef Lien’s parents fled Vietnam by boat as refugees and ended up in a refugee camp in Hong Kong where Lien was born. Her mother made street food and father worked at the docks to survive. Lien and her family received sponsorship to the United States. When they arrived in Saratoga Springs, New York, her father got a job at one of the two Chinese restaurants in the area as a dishwasher and worked his way up to a cook. During the mid 80’s her parents opened their own Chinese restaurant where Lien began her career in the kitchen at the age of seven washing dishes and folding wontons. Lien graduated from The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and joined The Slanted Door, where she advanced to Executive Sous Chef at the Slanted Door Group during her time there.
Lien competed on Iron Chef America alongside Chef Charles Phan in 2009 and contributed extensively to the writing of his award winning book, “Vietnamese Home Cooking.” She was also the Chef for Mama Tong, a producer of Chinese healing soups packaged for retail consumption, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Asian Culinary Forum since 2009, Sprouts Cooking Club, cooking classes and programs for youths from all backgrounds to live healthier lives, since 2017, and Emma’s Torch, an organization that empowers refugees through culinary training, since 2018.
In February 2015 she opened Bricolage, a modern Vietnamese gastropub, alongside her business partner and husband, Edward Lin. Her food is inspired by the life around her and especially from her family and the food she grew up eating.
When eating out, what neighborhood do you end up in the most?
What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC right now?
Hakata Tonton for the hot pot with cow stomach.
What’s a seasonal ingredient you’re excited to work with?
Over the summer, it was heirloom tomatoes and corn, and then persimmons for fall.
What could you eat for a whole week straight?