DONALD BERGER – CHEF PATRON
Donald Berger is the founding partner and the General Director as well as the Chef Patron of Don’s Bistro & Don Viet JSC based in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam for 16 years. His international experience with fine wine, food and cigars spans 34 years focusing on quality hospitality. In 2013 don’s Bistro & Oyster Bar has been rated in the Top 50 Restaurants in Asia, and Number 1 Restaurant in Vietnam by San Pellegrino and William Reed Business Media Awards and top 10 in Vietnam by the Miele Guide. Don’s Bistro is a Hanoi icon dining and entertainment destination, located on the West Lake. 150 team members of www.dons-bistro.com conduct catering, in house dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with nightly live music, 7 days a week to over 7000 satisfied guests a month including the breakfast and dinner service at Sedona Suites luxury serviced apartments.
Before don’s Bistro & Donviet JSC Donald was the founding partner and the Managing Director overseeing 250 employees of the Vine Quality Hospitality Group ISO 2200 & ISO 9001 certified, based in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. The Vine Group business scope that Berger was responsible for setting up included Vietnam’s first Bona Fida wine destination in the Vine Wine Boutique Bar & Café, Thai Vine, The Annex, Casa Del Habano in HCM, a country wide wine & hospitality related wholesale business, an art gallery featuring vaulted Vietnamese artist Fam Luc, an import export division, and a public relations company Grape Vine Image Consultants. Famous brands that Berger introduced to Vietnam included Montresor, Bava, Tasca d’Almerita, Jocopoli, Nonino, Montes, Habanos, Chateau St Michele, Ironstone, Philipponnat Champage, Schilde Estate, Oyster Bay to name a few.
Berger worked in the exciting cities of Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai where he worked in the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Tokyo Capital Club and Shanghai American Club, and amassed a loyal following of crème de la crème, including Presidents, Prime Ministers, Royalty, Ambassadors, CEO’s, celebrities, artists, and top dignitaries. He was recruited to come to Vietnam to be the Executive Chef and Assistant General Manager of Hanoi Press Club where he worked for 3 years before setting out on his own business with partners.
The events created by Chef Berger have become legendary in these city’s inner circles and included the successful Great Chef’s International Wine Challenge charity events, numerous cigar and wine maker dinners, Ladies Epicurean dinners, Thai, French Italian, Irish, American, Canadian, Cuban, Austrian, Chilean, Spanish, Australian & New Zealand Dinners, wine tastings, children’s & holiday events, guided Gourmet Wine & Dine Tour De France, Gala Celebrations, and Chaine Des Rotisseur gastronomic evenings.
Chef Berger a Montreal born Red & Gold Seal Certified Canadian International Master Chef, worked with the Ritz Carlton Group for nine years, opening the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong as Executive Chef in 2003, he was also posted with the Ritz Carltons, in Laguna Niguel California. and opened Ritz Carlton in San Francisco California.
He was responsible for organizing with the Chairman of the International Wine Challenge Robert Joseph; the annual International Wine Challenge Vietnam 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007, co-organizing for IWC Shanghai 1999 & 2000. He also founded and organized the International Wine Challenge Shanghai Great Chef’s of Shanghai Gala Dinner 1999 & 2000, and the IWCV Gala Awards Great Chefs of Vietnam 2004 and 2007.
Donald Berger who has been active in the wine industry since 1977 where he started as a vendager in Bordeaux and Bas Armagnac has organized wine lists for don’s Bistro, Press Club Hanoi, Shanghai American Club, Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Vine Wine Bar Boutique & Café and Viet Dang Co., Ltd wine importers Six Star Provisions (SSP) JSC wine import & distributors & Bluebird Wine JSC. He organized the culinary events for the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel’s World of Wines festival for 3 years, for which he was grant the Award of Merit from the Escoffier Society.
A pioneer in many cities, he was also on the founding Boards of the Hanoi Chapter of Commanderier de Bordeaux, Hanoi Disciples d’ Escoffier, Hanoi Professional Chefs Club, Shanghai Chef’s Association and Shanghai Chaine de Rotisseurs as Consellier Culinare responsible for the wine program, and a member of Hong Kong Chef’s Association, American Chef’s Association, Sydney Chef’s Association.
Prior to Hanoi he was the Executive Chef in charge of Beverage at the Shanghai American Club and Tokyo Capital Club. He was with the Ritz Carlton Group for nine years, opening the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong as Executive Chef, as Executive Sous Chef of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel California and opened the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco as Opening Team Trainer Chef. Previous experiences included cooking in Monte Carlo with Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in the Hotel De Paris, Milan Italy with 3 star chef Gualtiero Marchesi, Banquet Chef at The Four Season’s Hotel in New Port Beach California, The Westin Hotel group in Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, The Los Angeles Century Plaza and Towers, the Westin Calgary.
He is also the Brand Ambassador of Wolf – Sub Zero the finest culinary equipment as well as Luce wines the Super Tuscan and Brunello di Montelcino Joint Venture between Mondavi and Frescobaldi wineries.
Now 55 youthful years of age with Vietnamese wife Nguyen Thi Thuy, and son Che Long Hai Berger, 16 years of experience in Vietnam, which is now his long term base & homeland.