Stephanie Dinh, S Kitchen
Growing up in Vietnam, Stephanie Dinh, was surrounded by aromas like fresh lemongrass, fish sauce and various spices. At 14, she and her family moved to the US and even in their new home in Frankfort, Kentucky, the same aromas filled the kitchen.
Cooking wasn't always a passion, but a necessity for Stephanie. She learned how to cook from her mother and regularly had to make meals for her family of eight. When she moved to California, she pursued a "practical" degree in computer science before realizing her passion was in culinary arts. After opening her bakery, Final Touch, and cooking meals for her two kids, she went to the Culinary Institute of America to refine her craft. In 2005, she and her husband achieved their dreams and opened S Fine Dining, the first Vietnamese restaurant of its kind in Orange County. Throughout the 11 years the restaurant was open, it became the best spot for authentic Vietnamese food in a contemporary setting. Today they run a successful catering company, along with their bakery, and their sauces and recipes are a compilation of classic and modern Vietnamese recipes that have been passed down or created throughout the years.