The Saigon Kitchen: an All About The Cooks success story

The Saigon Kitchen: an All About The Cooks success story

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From local fixer to home-cook

Back in 2019 when we started our search for the home-cooking heroes of Bristol, we discovered Trung Trinh on Instagram and asked if he fancied selling his Vietnamese food on our platform. He quickly said yes, and a very exciting journey began.

Living in North Bristol with his wife and son, Trung has spent most of his working life in television production – a career inherently inspired by his deep-rooted passion for Vietnamese food. Born after the Vietnamese war in a very small town by the sea in the North of Vietnam called Bai Tu Long Bay, Trung started cooking from a very young age.

“Growing up in a poor area, there were no restaurants or fancy food, except some carts that served simple street food, which meant that family mealtimes were very important. My mum taught me other skills too like how to use a knife, work an open fire, along with ways to identify and pick out the best ingredients and how to combine them to make well-balanced dishes. To make it simple, but also enjoyable. She told me cooking is one of life’s survival skills. It is very important and will stay with you all your life – the same as swimming. I’d like to introduce all Bristolians to what it is to eat fresh authentic Vietnamese foods. To taste the real Vietnam.”

And that he did...

When we launched late in 2020 Trung quickly become one of the most popular and best-selling cooks on the platform. His Friday afternoons were now spent in his home-kitchen in Horfield ahead of all his All About The Cooks collections later that evening. Taking home £4.5k+ in his first year of selling locally on the platform gave Trung the confidence that not only did people really love his food, but also that this could be more than a ‘side-hustle’.

All About The Cooks has always been about empowering talented home-cooks to earn money doing something they’re good at. But back in 2020 when our founder Claire suggested how brilliant it would be if one of our cooks set up something successful on their own in the future, we hadn’t anticipated that less than a year and a half later, Trung would be achieving his life-long dream of opening his first restaurant. The Saigon Kitchen finally opened its doors to the public this February, and Trung is now navigating a new role as a full-time restaurant owner, chef, and Dad! 

Despite now serving his food in a sit-down setting in this buzzy Zetland Road hot-spot, Trung is keen to point out that this this is still, and always will be, authentic Vietnamese home-cooking. He has great respect for his culture and the recipes which have been passed through his community, which he now has the chance to share with the hundreds of people that will walk through his restaurant door.

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“We want to give people the moral support to do their own thing. All About The Cooks is about empowering people. And, even if someone ends up being a huge success on the platform and ends up moving on to set up something on their own, I would think that was massive success for us – it would be brilliant to see that happen.”

Claire Ladkin, Founder - Nov 2020

The All About The Cooks team finally had the chance to pay The Saigon Kitchen a long-awaited visit last week, and were quickly reminded of Trung’s immense pride and passion for the Vietnamese food he prepares as soon as we arrived. As we tucked into our hanoi style spring rolls and sweet and sour ‘Bun Cha’, Trung caught us up on the long but rewarding journey so far, and together we reflected on how much he had achieved in such a short space of time.

We feel hugely proud to have played a small part in helping Trung achieve his life-long food ambition of opening his own restaurant, and we want to help may more talented cooks reach their goals. There is no limit to what our home-cooks can achieve, and that is really exciting.

If you’re disappointed that you can’t order Trung’s food on our website – fear not. Trung plans to take pre-orders for his food with us again very soon, for people to collect from The Saigon Kitchen to enjoy to eat at home. Keep your eyes peeled and you can enjoy that home-cooked Vietnamese taste with us again soon.

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Did you know that we’re crowdfunding?

Sharing is at the heart of everything we do at All About The Cooks, and we’d love you to share in our journey too. Now you can have your piece of the pie by becoming a shareholder of the business. 

We want to revolutionise the way we eat at home, and we’d love you to join us on the journey. If you’re keen to get involved, have a read of our pitch on Crowdcube…

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