2013 Road to Palm Springs
In all endeavors, “rise with humility and fall with dignity” is the advice that Helene An, founder of her namesake multimillion-dollar food conglomerate, bestows on her five daughters and House of An Managing Partners Catherine An, Elizabeth An, Hannah An, Monique An and Jacqueline An.
Fleeing Vietnam during the fall of Saigon, Helene survived a total loss of home and country. In 1971, Helene and her mother-in-law purchased a small Italian deli in San Francisco. Helene learned her customers’ palates, and over time she transformed the deli into the city’s first Vietnamese restaurant, with its trademark dish An’s Famous Garlic Noodles. The deli, now named Thanh Long, remains one of the family’s restaurants. An’s five daughters oversee Crustacean San Francisco, Crustacean Beverly Hills, AnQi South Coast Plaza, Tiato Santa Monica, An Catering and the food product line House of An.
Known for her culinary success, Helene has been celebrated by the Smithsonian Institution for being one the first to bring Vietnamese cuisine to mainstream America.