Dennis Ngo of Brooklyn's Di An Di restaurant shares his story as a career-changer who found happiness as a chef in New York City.
Chef Dennis Ngo grew up the American-born son of Vietnamese refugees in Houston, Texas, and spent almost a decade in the corporate world, before following a fondness for hospitality into the professional kitchen. After a brief stint as a dishwasher and line cook, he took the opportunity to become chef of a downtown Manhattan restaurant. Following a rocky start, he grew into the role, eventually moving on to other opportunities and then, about five years ago, opening Di An Di in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Dennis really opens up in his conversation with Andrew, taking on such subjects as family resistance to his switching to kitchen life, a rewarding but in some respects painful relationship with a surprising mentor, and what he sees as Di An Di's mission.
From October 29 - November 5, 2021, Dennis and Di An Di are participating in S.Pellegrino's* Destination Dining program, "exchanging" two dishes with LA's Night + Market.
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* S.Pellegrino is Andrew Talks to Chefs' promotional partner.