Growing up in Saigon, Vietnam, Trisha Do wasn’t big on cooking for herself, but when she moved to New York City in 2018—just one month after her family immigrated to the United States—she found herself craving the home-cooked flavors of her childhood. “I couldn’t find an authentic Vietnamese restaurant here,” she explains, “one where I could taste my mom’s and my grandma’s cooking.”
In April of 2023, the 26-year-old, who got her start as a fashion and beauty content creator, kicked off Xin Mời, which she co-founded with art director Gūi Trang. The dinner series’ name translates roughly to “bon appétit,” and exclusively focuses on Vietnamese cuisine. This past Thursday night, Xin Mời catered its first major endeavor to celebrate the latest release by A Magazine, which was curated by Peter Do, in New York.
The 26th print edition of the magazine follows issues by Sacai, Erdem, and Francesco Risso, and opens with Peter’s mom photographed in custom pieces by her son who helms both Helmut Lang as well as his namesake label. Images of Peter’s childhood home in Vietnam follow, as does contributions from cultural luminaries, including model and artist Anh Duong, this year’s Cannes best-director winner Tran Anh Hung, and LA-based photographer duo Hart Lëshkina. It was edited by newly appointed EIC Blake Abbie. At the event, which was thrown in partnership with At.Kollektive, Xin Mời’s passed bites ranged from pâté chaud, meat-filled puff pastries, to tamarind-glazed fried tofu skewers called đậu hũ chiên and salad rolls known as bì cuốn chay.
Peter, who turns 33 this month, originally met Trisha in 2020 after being intrigued by her social media presence. “There were not a lot of Vietnamese creative people in New York, at the time,” he says. She also had the “same last name as me. Like, Oh hey!” The designer too experienced food as a “huge part” of his upbringing in Vietnam, where he was born in the town of Biên Hòa, not far from where Trisha was raised. Whereas her family came to the United States when she was 21, his moved to Philadelphia before that, in the mid-aughts while he was still a teenager. Peter credits both his grandmother and father, who worked as a chef in the military, for his cooking skills. Cooking with his dad, he recalls, was especially meaningful: “Every Sunday that’s how we bonded. We didn’t have a lot in common, but that was where we spent quality time together.” Now, he muses, cooking for others has become something of a “love language” for him.
Years later, the designer himself was a pivotal influence when it came to encouraging Trisha to launch Xin Mời. “When I started learning to cook, and I started hosting my friends, Peter was one of the people who came over,” she explains. “He was like, You know what, actually, you should do something about it.” Still, Trisha claims no one is more “shocked” than her own mother at her foray from fashion into food. “She always forced me and my brother into being her sous chefs,” she admits. “Because of witnessing her—and unconsciously learning from her my entire childhood—I’m equipped to know how to cook certain dishes.” She adds, “Vietnamese food is like my religion. I don’t know American food as much.”