A man 'so blessed': Vietnamese chef finds the LDS Church, his foundation and a desire to help others

Vietnamese chef finds the LDS Church,his foundation and a desire to help others

Published: Thursday, April 12 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"Not one person I've ever met is perfect, and these kids are just as important as any other people and they should have the same opportunity as everybody else," Fitzgerald said.

Outside of the restaurant, Fitzgerald enjoys fishing, hunting, crabbing, photography and spending time with his family.

He says his 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, can cook everything he can cook. His 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is a straight-A student and his 3-year-old son, Liam, is "an exact clone" of himself, "precocious in every way."

One thing that makes Fitzgerald happy more than anything else, he said, is service. He's helped people in his ward and community with their roofs, sprinklers, and homes and whatever else needs doing. He is happy to be able to apply what he's learned and capable of to help others.

"When you come into the world in Asia, you have absolutely nothing. If you're born as a rice farmer, guess what? You're a rice farmer. Period. End of story. My (step)father told me a long time ago I could be whatever I wanted to be."

Fitzgerald was born a rice farmer, but all that he's accomplished has proved his stepfather's words to be true.

But he doesn't credit himself for it. "I have always been, my whole life, guided and protected. That's why I do what I do. Because I've been so blessed by Heavenly Father. …

"And so the church gives me roots, it gives me foundations, it gives me principle."

Email: mormontimes@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere