A Dallas College culinary program freshman is cooking up a storm on the national stage. Preston Nguyen, 18, won the 2021 World Food Championship title. His team included his sous chefs, Peter and Emma Nguyen, who are also Preston's parents.
"We love cooking together," Preston said.
"Early on, he was my little foodie," Peter said. "So he's the executive chef, and his mom and I are his sous chefs."
Cooking runs in the Nguyen family.
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"We started this journey when we met 25 years ago in culinary school," Emma said, she was also a culinary student at Dallas College with her husband.
Peter Nguyen left culinary school and went on to other business ventures, but this year, he went back to school with his son Preston.
The Nguyen family competed against professional chefs for the World Food Championships, some of whom have been cooking for longer than Preston has been alive.
"A lot of stress, but it was, like, a fun stress," Preston said. "We knew there was going to be a lot of big names out there like Stephen Koh, and we've been watching them on TV for as long as I can remember, and so we were a little nervous."
So nervous, they didn't think they'd won until they heard the winner being announced.
"It definitely took me a second to realize that he did say my name... o much excitement and joy just came rushing in," Preston said. "It's just been a really humbling experience. Like, there are so many opportunities to learn, and just being able to meet all these amazing chefs has just been like a dream come true."
"It's really been a Cinderella story for us," Peter said.
"I think the respect for each other and what each one can bring to the plate is what would make us have that superpower," Emma said.
"I think the love," Peter added.
Food is the Nguyens love language.
"It brings people together," Preston said. "And who doesn't love food?"
Preston, Peter and Emma Nguyen will go on to compete in the World Food Champion Final Table. They'll be up against the winners of nine other World Food Champion categories.