Founder & Creative Director, Misschu
Country of origin: LAOS
Nahji’s family left their homeland when the Pathet Lao communist regime took over, stripping entire families of their assets, education, careers, social status and often their lives.
Nahji’s grandmother sold street food in Hanoi, and her aunty was one of the first women to serve Vietnamese food in Australia. Cooking for others seemed like a natural way to form new bonds, so when her family moved to the Melbourne suburbs, they would offer rice paper and spring rolls to their neighbours who, in turn, would invite them over for barbecues.
After a series of career attempts as a journalist, a photographer, a politician and a performer, at 35, Nahji opened her first Misschu Tuck Shop. She used her refugee visa as her logo to remind customers about how Vietnamese and Lao people came to be in Australia and a new culinary success story was born! Today, the “Queen of Rice Paper Rolls” continues to delight her customers with Misschu venues throughout Sydney and Melbourne.