Hawk Pride: Culinary artist opens his own restaurant
For HFC alumnus Tung Luu, his dream of owning a restaurant has come true.
In early 2022, Luu opened The Chopstix, a restaurant serving Asian cuisine. Its specialties are sushi and pho (a type of Vietnamese noodle soup). The restaurant is located at 30975 Five Mile Road in the Livonia Plaza Shopping Center.
“It’s always been my dream to open my own restaurant,” said Luu. “And here I am right now.”
Studying business and culinary arts helped Luu start his restaurant
A native of Vietnam and the eldest of three, Luu immigrated to the United States in 2011, living in Dearborn for six years. For the past five years, he has lived in Riverview with his wife and two children.
Luu completed high school in Vietnam. He graduated from HFC in 2015, earning an associate degree in international business. He completed coursework in HFC’s renowned Culinary Arts program.
“HFC did a good job of preparing me for my career,” he said. “It provided me a strong academic background for the business world. It allowed me to hone my skills in the culinary field so I could open my restaurant. The College also allowed me the chance to practice my English and my social skills. It provided a good atmosphere with knowledgeable and friendly teachers. I made friends from so many countries, which enabled me to get know other cultures.”
Sushi as an art - presentation and flavor
Luu spent a decade working as a sushi chef in Metro Detroit area restaurants before opening his restaurant. His uncle, brother-in-law, aunt, and sometimes his wife on her days off work at The Chopstix.
“I fell in love with making sushi,” he said. “I love making sushi. I love the presentation.”
Many colorful dishes can be placed on one of three "sushi boats" and served at a table. There are several types and flavors, including sashimi, nigiri, and also sushi classics like California rolls and spicy tuna. Customers can choose baked sushi or fried sushi as well. The restaurant also serves poke bowls and many other Vietnamese dishes, including pho.
“The presentation is very nice. We strive to bring the best sushi to our customers. Sushi is not just a food, it’s also the main dish in most Asian families. It is a healthy choice for a meal. I think of sushi as an art. I enjoy the presentation when I make it. I love to decorate my sushi plate for people. We make our food with passion and with love. Our customers are treated as our family.”