I have loved featuring the lesser-known women of the Philadelphia food scene. I hope you have enjoyed learning about them as much as I have enjoyed featuring them. I hope you will give them your support.
Over the past few months, I have seen the name Angie’s Vietnamese Cuisine more and more cross my radar. I wanted to learn more about the person behind the concept, so I asked if she wanted to be featured. Without further adieu, meet Chef Lynh Pham, in her own words!
My culinary journey started early. My parents are Vietnam war refugees and always made sure our house was filled with food. I was the kid who packed fish sauce and rice for lunch. I started cooking at age 12 and grew up hearing my mom talk about opening her restaurant. Many of my recipes are based on my mom’s many home-cooked meals.
I didn’t initially set out to be in the culinary field. I majored in Math and Chemistry in college and intended to go into the pharmaceutical industry. I ended up getting my first restaurant job in 2006 to pay for college. After some time, I moved into restaurant management and discovered I enjoyed it. I worked my way up the corporate ladder, so to speak, and hopped from job to job when other opportunities became available.
In April 2017, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I spent much of my time during chemo thinking about what I truly wanted in life. After treatments, I couldn’t meet the physical or emotional demands of being a restaurant manager. I decided to take a step back and focus on taking care of myself and my family (husband, Phil, and two kids, Amelia and Daniel).
In 2019, financial struggles forced me back into the restaurant industry. In May 2021, I contracted Covid and found myself bed-ridden and again thinking about my life goals. I got myself a notebook and started researching how to open my own restaurant.
I quit my job, and Angie’s Vietnamese Cuisine was born.
At first, I opened as a ghost kitchen in August 2021. I decided to find some vendor opportunities to gain exposure. One event turned into two and then three. I closed the ghost kitchen nearly every weekend to attend the events.
I ceased all ghost kitchen operations in mid-October and focused solely on pop-ups and events. Two weeks after that decision, I had at least five pop-ups every week. I prepped and cooked for five events every week for six weeks straight by myself. Since the beginning, I have not had a single employee (and I still don’t!) My insane schedule has paid off.
I can be found at East Falls Farmers Market every Saturday. I curate weekly Monday night dinners at Old City Kitchen (218 Market Street). I still do pop-ups at breweries. I consistently vend with Now & Then Marketplace and have joined the vendor list with Old Kensington Boutique. My goal for 2022 is to get a food truck.
Keep your eyes on this one, folks! Best wishes to Chef Lynh Pham.
If you or someone you know should be featured here, please contact me. Help me shine a spotlight on the women accomplishing great things in the culinary and hospitality fields.
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