HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen, Chicago
DIRECTOR DANIELLE DANG’S STORY
Husband and wife team, Chef Thai and Danielle Dang showcase the flavors and depth of Vietnamese cuisine at their nationally-acclaimed restaurant, HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen in Pilsen – fondly referred to as the Heart of Chicago. Danielle is an award-winning Mixologist that celebrates the nuances in wine and beverage artfully paired to complement Chef Thai’s cuisine.
1800 S Carpenter St
Chicago, IL 60608
Q&A WITH DANIELLE DANG
Story Plate: What are your top three go-to restaurants in your hometown (Chicago)?
Danielle Dang: Bavettes, ATK, Sweet Maple Cafe.
SP: What’s a must-have or your favorite kitchen item and why?
DD: I can’t work a bar shift without a double-hinged corkscrew. The double hinge and built-in knife make everything faster and easier.
SP: Who/what inspired you to get into the culinary industry?
DD: My husband. He has always been a talented cook. We came together to open restaurants to creatively express our passions for cooking, beverage, and hospitality.
SP: If you didn’t choose to go down this career path, what would plan B have been for you?
DD: I am an architect actually! I designed our restaurants, created plans for permits, and I am even the general contractor for my design/build projects.
SP: Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?
DD: I hope to continue to be in a position to positively inspire youth. Operating our business has given my husband and I the opportunity to help guide and influence others that want to grow within the world of hospitality.
SP: What is your favorite foodie destination and why?
DD: Hoi An, Vietnam. You will find the best street food, noodles, banh mi, and markets to get the freshest ingredients found in Vietnam.
SP: What piece of advice would you give to other women that are looking to venture into the culinary industry?
DD: Don’t give up. This is a tough business and it requires thick skin, and dedication. You can cry in the cooler for a few minutes. But take a deep breath and get back in the game. Don’t give up, focus, you can do this. And don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s easy to be pushed around in the restaurant industry. Traditionally restaurants are run by men and it’s harder to be recognized as a woman. Once I gained confidence that only came with experience, I had to learn to speak up to be heard and for my voice to be considered relevant.