Doug Stratton, owner and head chef of Gringo Tacos, first came to Vietnam in 2005, on a visit with a Vietnamese chef from the culinary school he was studying at. Like many before and many since, he fell in love with the country and started planning his return. Ten years later, he bought a one-way ticket and hasn’t looked back.

Initially hired as an executive chef for one of the city’s fine dining restaurants, plans didn’t work out as expected, so one day, out of the blue, his girlfriend suggested he open a taco restaurant. Eighteen days later Gringo Tacos served their first burrito.

Coming originally from southern California, Stratton has strong opinions about what ‘traditional’ Mexican food is, and serves up the genuine flavours of the food he’s enjoyed since childhood.