41-year old Vinh Du was born in Vietnam to Chinese parents and the family came to Denmark as boat refugees over thirty years ago. With passion and determination, Vinh Du has gone from working at his father’s small grill bar to owning the successful restaurant Fusion.
In an interview with BT, he talks about his life and how he is living out his dream in Denmark.
When Vinh Du came to Denmark as an eight-year-old boy, his father had trouble entering the job market and after attending 20 different internships, he took matters into his own hands and started what was to be the catalyst for his son’s career choice. He opened a grill bar in the Danish town of Hjørring.
“From the time I was 14, I worked in his kitchen after school and on weekends, and since then I have stuck to the culinary profession,” Vinh Du says.
Although his father wanted him to study law, Vinh Du was in 1989 trained as a chef at Hotel Scheelsminde in the city, and in 1996, he took over his father’s now second grill bar, which was located in Aalborg, Denmark.
The dream of starting his own place sprouted and Vinh Du saved every penny he earned from the grill bar so that one day the dream could be realized. Given the opportunity to enter the catering business, Vinh Du started experimenting with Chinese, Thai, and Korean dishes and in 2007, a handful of his catering company’s regular customers came and said they were ready to invest in him if one day he decided to open something of his own.
Which he did in 2010. Although the first few years were a challenge, the restaurant Fusion became a success and last year Vinh Du was able to buy out the last investors.
According to Vinh Du, part of the success lies in an exciting menu that changes every month, a good wine list, and excellent service.
Although restaurant Fusion is his child at heart, Vinh Du is now also ready to let his career move elsewhere.
“The business is running well now. If anyone comes and offers a good price for the restaurant and can run it well, I am also ready to move on. Fusion was my dream, and I have lived that dream for 11 years now,” Vinh Du says.
He wants to step down. But not too much.
“I work 75 hours a week right now and it’s hard. But if I have to go down to 40 hours a week, to me it’s the same as being unemployed,” he laughs.