Here at The Prince & Pantry we believe that our food and service is as only as good as our team. In order to provide the best, our team has to be the best. Our chefs have worked in some of Southern California’s best restaurants. Our service staff have had years of quality experience. Our events team have successfully handled numerous events of all sizes. Together, we make the superior team at The Prince & Pantry.
Nathaniel Nguyen, Executive Chef
Starting out in the restaurant industry at the age of 17 as a busboy, Nathaniel knew right away he was in the right place. Making his way through some of the best restaurants in Southern California, Nathaniel got his start as a chef on a gourmet food truck where he served seasonally inspired California cuisine. Shortly after, he appeared on the premiere episode of ABC’s The Taste where he had the opportunity to cook for Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain. He returned home to spearhead Morning by Thasos, a nutritionally conscious breakfast concept, where one his dishes was named OC’s Weekly’s 100 Favorite Dish for 2013 before taking his talents to The Prince & Pantry. Nathaniel is known for his creative flavor pairings and inspired take on classic dishes. One of Nathaniel’s favorite snack is a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread. Homemade mayo preferably, but Best Foods in a pinch.
Amy Pham, Executive Sous Chef
A Colorado native, Amy left her corporate job to pursue her true calling: cooking. She honed her skills in a modern French restaurant in Colorado before making the big move to California. Before joining The Prince & Pantry, Amy also worked in the kitchen of famed sushi restaurant, Katsuya by Starck and Orange County’s favorite restaurant, Marche Moderne. You can expect bold, explosive flavors when Amy is cooking, a nod to the Southeast Asian flavors that she loves. You would never guess Amy is notorious for her butterfingers in the kitchen by the way she skillfully uses her knife to perform such precise knife cuts. And if you suspect that you may have seen Amy before, your eyes are fooling you. Amy is a proud runner-up on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen where she narrowly missed cinching the victory. Don’t worry, she’s waiting for her redemption episode.
Frances King, Executive Pastry Chef
You could say that cooking runs in Frances’ family. Growing up in her family’s restaurant, Frances’ love for cooking could be seen as she helped her mother prepare meals for hungry guests. Although surrounded by cooking, it wasn’t until later in life that Frances really pursued her dream of becoming a chef.
Before enrolling in culinary school, Frances, a graduate of CSULB & UCLA, worked as an educator. Unable to calm the desires to cook, her heart led her to Kitchen Academy in Hollywood, CA where she later joined the opening team at Abode. There, Frances worked under one of this country’s most recognized female chef, Dominique Crenn. It was there that Frances honed her craft and found her culinary feet. It wasn’t long until Dominque allowed Frances to begin developing items for their menu.
After Abode, Frances delved deeper into pastry arts by becoming a baker’s assistant where her early mornings consisted of shaping and baking an assortment of artisans breads. Her days were filled with cake decorating, as well as, preparing and finishing various other sweets. It was here that Frances really found her calling in pastry arts.
These days, when she’s not hard at work in The Prince & Pantry kitchen cooking up something sweet & savory for all of our clients, Frances can be found cleaning out mixing bowls and licking spoons with two baby sous chefs of her own.
Eddie Aguilera, Sous Chef
A graduate of Le Corden Bleu, Eddie has always been inspired by global experiences and it shines in his bold & exciting food. His work experience landed him in Aspen, Colarado where he spent many hours refining his technique. The cooking came easy, adjusting to the cool weather and snow, now that was the challenging part for this Southern California native.
Eddie finds inspiration from global cuisines and loves to travel. Eddie has a pure love for food preservation and it can be seen & tasted across all of our menus. From pickled vegetables to cured fish & meats & seasonally inspired jams & perserves, Eddie’s unique set of skills have made him an invaluable part of The Prince & Pantry Family.
Before joining The Prince & Pantry, Eddie also worked as an assistant food stylist where his love for beautiful food grew even stronger. These days, you can find Eddie around town shopping for various food props and snapping photos for our Instagram.
Matthew Wang, Chef
As a California Native, Matt captures everything that’s true about California in his cooking. Fresh, remarkable and seasonal produce are the great beginnings of any dish and can be found prepared simply in the hands of Chef Matt. A philosophy that blends effortlessly into the way we cook at The Prince & Pantry.
Joining us from a large family of talented chefs himself, Matt learned from the best teachers anyone could learn from: his mother & grandmother. (We’re all big fans of Momma Wang & Grandmama Wang’s cooking, that’s for sure.) Wanting to embrace every facet of the food & beverage industry, Matt has worked as a host, server & bartender before finding his way into the kitchen at The Prince & Pantry.
A lover of travelling, Matt just returned from a solo trip in Italy where he was inspired by the simple pasta preparations of Italy and the carafes of bottomless red wine. When he’s not in our kitchens, you can find him in his own, where he still manages to find the time to cook & bake for his friends & family. A true entertainer at heart!
Michelle Nakadate, Lead Bartender & Bar Chef
No event is complete without a delicious beverage. That’s where our most important member of our team, Michelle comes in. As Lead Bartender and Bar Chef, Michelle’s craft cocktails & beverages features the same seasonal approach as our food. Her hand crafted approach means all of our beverages and cocktails feature house made infusions, syrups & shrubs, fresh squeezed juices, fresh fruits with a just a touch of daring presentation.
The bartending seed was planted in Michelle long before she came to us at The Prince & Pantry. After college, Michelle began working in numerous Orange County establishments known for their strong bar program. With her warm personality and engaging smile, it’s no doubt that Michelle made more friends than cocktails in her tenure at various bars around town. Michelle is passionate about creating custom cocktails & beverages for your special event. The same attention to detail in her cocktails is present when she is working to create a menu just for you.
Michelle’s favorite cocktail to unwind with will always have bourbon in there somehwere. Although we also know Michelle to appreciate a fine bottle of red wine any day. When she’s not drinking her way around town, you can find Michelle at a sports game cheering on her favorite teams.