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Currently working as a cook at Casino Arizona, Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona

Born in the country of Vietnam, my father is half Chinese half Vietnamese and my mother is Vietnamese.  At the age of 2, my family immigrated to the United States and ended up in Wichita, Kansas.  From there we moved to a small town called Liberal, Kansas where I spent the early years of my childhood.  With a brief year spent in Rockport, Texas, my family moved out to Southern California, where I have lived for the past 20+ years.  In April of 2009 I moved Glendale, Arizona.

Straight out of college I entered the Real Estate Industry and spent the next 5 years doing Escrow transactions.  Very boring work and if you don’t know what Escrow is, you don’t need to, until you buy a house.  After 5 years, I did not want to continue down that career path, so I quit.  In the next few years, not knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I bounced around a few jobs and ended up a Transportation Logistics manager in 2007.  In 2009, the company moved me out to Arizona to manage a small office and a team of drivers. 

At the end of 2009, I did some soul searching and realized want I really wanted to do in life.  My passion has always been in the kitchen.  My parents had a brief stint in the restaurant business, but worried that it would be a life of hard work for me, so they steered me clear of that industry.  However, the calling was there, so I promptly and respectfully resigned from my job and enrolled in culinary school at the Art Institute of Phoenix in the beginning of 2010. 

As if a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders and a heavy fog has lifted, I can clearly see my path.  Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of happiness you get when you realized that you have found your passion.  I now have a sense of where I’m going, I have clear aspirations, goals and my dream is now a reality.  Not to say that changing careers and starting over has been easy.  Currently, I work 50 hours a week at Talking Stick Resort, which is a part of Casino Arizona in Scottsdale, Arizona and go to school 20 hours a week, not including homework assignments.  I am in the beginning stages of my new journey, and it is filled with hard work, low pay, long hours and I still have to go to school in the morning, but I would not change it for anything.

Even though I am at the beginning of my career and have mountains of experience to climb.  I don’t consider myself just a culinary student.  I believe that I am already far beyond that, and I plan on making leaps and bounds in my culinary career.  I have always been really good at a lot of things, but never great at anything.  I plan on being great at this.


potato gnocchi in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce with basil oil

vegetable spring roll with red dragon sauce and peanuts

furikake seasoned rice stuffed shrimp with a wasabi soy glaze

sautéed morel mushrooms with polenta, garlic and sweet bulb onion confit and red wine reduction

peppered steak with stewed tomatoes, sautéed bell peppers and mushrooms on top of rice and shiraz pan sauce

Good Luck Pat!