Kevin was born in Chicago and grew up in San Diego. He is laser-focused on his professional passion, cooking food that speaks to his soul through his Laotian upbringing and present journey. He deeply loves farming and music, whether a good beat or a fantastic voice. Kevin hopes to have a large garden to play music for his plant babies in the future.
If Kevin did not take the path of a Chef, he feels his career would have led him to a desk job in Human Resources. He loves people and counseling people. If Kevin is not at the restaurant, you will likely find him hiking, snowboarding, and practicing yoga, which helps keep him focused in the kitchen. He is also an avid boulderer. "It's just you and the rock and nothing else on your mind" For him, ease of mind leads to happiness when he's clinging to a rock. Random things he's also shockingly good at, badminton and The Yoyo; challenge him anytime!
A proud accomplishment for Kevin was being hired for his first-ever cooking job at Liholiho. This opportunity allowed him to bring his passion, creativity, and unique flavors to an established kitchen and learn about restaurants from within. Chef Ravi remembers the day he hired Kevin. The inspiration to do so was the recognition of the emotional intelligence Kevin exuded. He had a guiding force on why he wanted to share his heritage through his food. Ravi knew the fit had to happen. Not only for the Liholiho team, but Ravi could see potential waiting to be unlocked and knew Kevin would thrive once it was released. Because of this platform, Kevin names Chef Ravi as one of his most admired in the field of cooking. "Ravi has been a rock for me. He's been a great and patient mentor. I admire him professionally for all his accomplishments and creativity. However, his heart and dedication for those around him are equally or even more admirable."
One of Kevin's joys in life is to see others happy. It lifts him to see the joy on people's faces. An immense joy in Kevin's life is his family. If he could have dinner with anyone, past or present, he would choose his Grandpa. He passed when Kevin was seven, so he never really got to know him. What he does know, he lived through the Vietnam war in Laos, went to a refugee camp post-war, and then immigrated to the US with 11 kids. Kevin feels connected to his Grandfather's story. He'd love to learn more details and hear about how he stayed so strong. He has always wished for the chance to share gratitude for being a patriarch to his family.
Suppose Kevin was not living in SF and work money and family were not factors. He envisions himself living on The Big Island of Hawaii. There is something kindred for him there, as if the island speaks to his soul. As a natural explorer and wanderer, he enjoys the changing landscape and climates as he moves throughout the island. Many parts of the island seem untouched, which seems impossible to find, and the island's natural beauty brings out his inner peace. Kevin's next travel destination is France. He loves French food and French technique. He is drawn to Paris but knows he'd also find himself hiking, climbing, and biking through the beautiful countryside.
Kevin is empathetic, playful, and very creative. He envisions himself becoming an advocate for LGBTQ youth. Kevin would like to see them more supported and their voices amplified. He lives by The Golden Rule, the principle of treating others as you want to be treated.