Thai Phi ’12 is the owner and chef at Pink Bellies, which has been serving Vietnamese comfort food to rave reviews since 2014. The College Today recently caught up with Phi as he was in the process of transitioning his successful food truck and pop-up location to a permanent spot right on Charleston’s bustling King Street.
From insight on starting a business to what inspires his delicious food, Phi, who graduated from the School of Business‘ one-year MBA program, had some good advice and tasty tips to get students motivated in the classroom and the kitchen. And be on the lookout for Pink Bellies’ restaurant to open in the Spring of 2020.
What advice would you give to a student with an entrepreneurial idea?
Find something you are completely passionate about – something you would do even if it meant you would only eat ramen noodles and it would still bring you happiness. Having enthusiasm and passion will propel you through all the obstacles and challenges.
What is the most Instagrammed dish on your menu?
The garlic noodles! Every photo we are tagged in is pretty much garlic noodles.
What is a simple recipe for college students to prepare?
The easiest recipe for college students to prepare is ramen. You can dress it up any way you want: add parmesan cheese, oyster sauce, fish sauce, fried chicken or rare beef. It is so easy and versatile.
Can you share a holiday cooking tip?
Cook with love and use a pro thermometer!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Spending new years with my parents. We open all the blinds and turn on all the lights in the house to open ourselves to the blessings of the New Year.
Photos by Mike Ledford