My name is Tommy Quan-Vu Cao. Quan-Vu was the name at birth. However, people call me Tommy which connects perfectly to my soul and my identity. I, personally, see myself much more Tommy than Quan-Vu.
I attended my junior high in Asia, but graduated senior high from Pauline Johnson Collegiate in Brantford, a small farming town in Ontario. I latter moved to Toronto for higher education and graduated from the University of Toronto with multiple degrees. While pursuing studying business at the Rotman School of Management (for my family mostly, lol), I took extra credits for Economics major and Social/Cultural Anthropology major.
After finishing university, I landed my early career in the finance field. However, it was not my former employers or the assignments or the salaries that made me unsatisfied with my life, rather the corporation atmosphere and the working pace did not compromise to my free spirit. So, in 2005, I moved to Vancouver, where beautiful nature was abundant, to start up a vegan restaurant called Dharma Kitchen.
Dharma Kitchen was ever the first fully vegan restaurant at the time. If the artist has his/her masterpiece, DK was my own masterpiece. DK allowed me to express my personal and my management philosophy, through the vice, the decor, the music, the recipes, and the interaction with and connection to patrons. It gave me physically and mentally a heathy growth that equipped me to develop The Art of Mindful Living.
Buddha said nothing permanent in its physical form, despite of its immortal spirit. After fifteen great years with Dharma Kitchen Restaurant, in the warm summer night of the 22nd of June in 2020, I silently closed its door permanently to public, due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. This site is to carry on DK's spirit and legacy.