Our Executive Team

Paul FriedmanExecutive Chef, Partner

Chef Paul Friedman is the Executive Chef of Peli Peli. Chef Paul has over 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry, having owned and operated successful restaurant concepts in South Africa and Germany. Chef Paul’s menu features authentic South African cuisine along with steak, chicken and seafood favorites that are prepared in his distinctive South African fusion-style.

He was awarded the People’s Choice Winner in the 2014 Gumbo Smackdown and the Classic Division Winner in the 30th Annual Caesar Salad Competition. In 2013, his South African cuisine put him at the top at Houston’s Wine & Food Week competition where he took home the coveted Waterford Crystal “Chef of Chefs” Award.

Aiki Cong “Michael” TranChief Executive Officer, Partner

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Michael has operated successful restaurant technology, construction and infrastructure businesses in the Houston area for over 15 years. His last business, Transtar Point of Sale, served over 400 restaurant systems, including Popeyes, Fuddruckers, Church’s Chicken, and Bahama Bucks.

Michael was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 by the Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas NguyenChief Marketing Officer, Partner

Thomas heads up communication, community outreach, and marketing initiatives for Peli Peli.

Thomas completed his law degree at the University of Texas at Austin and started his career as a litigation attorney. Dissatisfied with the path he was on, he left his legal career behind to pursue his passion in business and marketing.

In 2015, he was named one of Houston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his achievements in philanthropy and brand development.

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