It's difficult to pinpoint a time in my life when cooking wasn't important to me. Growing up as a latch-key kid, cooking my own rice, noodles, and scrambled eggs became survival skills! It also made my mom's meals all the more special, so as far as early influences, my mother has had a huge impact on how and what I cook. I also remember being glued to the set when Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef and Martin Yan's Yan Can Cook were on.
My entrance into the culinary world was born out of necessity and love, starting a family at the age of twenty, I was determined to provide home-cooked, healthy meals for my husband and child. Developing a repertoire of Vietnamese, Cajun and southern cuisine came easily living near the gulf coast with an abundance of fish, seafood and fresh garden herbs and vegetables.
I ws introduced to ChefsFeed (formerly Feastly) by a close friend who came over randomly for bowls of pho or rice and pork chops whenever he was in the neighborhood. The pop-up platform allows home chefs to share their food with guests who sign up to attend dinners in the chef's own home. I've hosted and cooked over 200 pop-ups for over a thousand strangers who have come to my home for dinner over the past 10 years.
After a few years at the executive chef helm of two celebrated Asian concepts in the area, Sing and more recently, Yelo. I've returned to hosting pop-ups, private dinners and teaching cooking classes in my home and local venues.
My specialty cuisines are Thai, Vietnamese, Cajun and Southern food. Ethnic comfort foods is where my heart lies. Since leaving Sing, I've had amazing opportunities to work alongside well-known local chefs like Richard Knight (Feast, Atlas Diner), Christine Ha (The Blind Goat and Master Chef Champion) and Evelyn Garcia (KIN, Decatur and Chopped Champion).
Currently, in addition to teaching private cooking classes, I am collaborating with LMN Hospitality, cooking and catering wedding receptions, life celebrations and dinner parties.
"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with them... the people who give you their food give you their heart."