Alumni Spotlight

Q&A with FIU alumni and co-owners of the award-winning Temple Street Eatery in Fort Lauderdale, Diego Ng ‘08 and Alex Kuk ‘08

Get to know the restaurateurs bringing new flavors to Fort Lauderdale’s palate. Cooking up comfort foods reminiscent of their family’s home cooking, Diego Ng ’08 and Alex Kuk ’08 have created an innovative menu introducing flavors with Chinese, Vietnamese and Latin influences.

The graduates of the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management will be giving back to the FIU community by hosting the Broward Panther Network for an east-bound happy hour on July 27th as well as offering FIU alumni a 10% discount on all purchases for the month of August- just mention you are an FIU Panther!

What’s your role at Temple Street Eatery?

  • We are both chefs and co-owners.

Tell us about your years as an FIU student.

  • Diego Ng: My years at FIU were excellent. I had the opportunity to have hands on experience in the hospitality industry as the school provided many resources for the students to be involved in. The professors made themselves very available for the students. I owe FIU a great deal for my success because of their commitment to us as students.
  • Alex Kuk: FIU gave me the experience through the events and professors but most importantly the friends I made for the success we have today.

How has FIU supported you in meeting your career goals?

  • Diego Ng: FIU has and still does grow our career goals as the institution has been very supportive in helping us grow our restaurant through their extensive network.
  • Alex Kuk: It has allowed us to continue to network within the industry and keep us a part of the FIU family.

Tell us a little about your career journey and how you ended up where you are today.

  • Diego Ng: When I enrolled in FIU for the hospitality program I always wanted to own a business. During my school years I worked in different fields of the hospitality industry until I realized that my biggest passion was in the restaurant industry. Through the South Beach Wine and Food Festival that was created by the school, I was able to be exposed to some of the finest establishments in the industry which opened up many doors for me to learn and grow which ultimately lead us to open our restaurant.
  • Alex Kuk: Through FIU I was able to experience many different areas of our industry. Through the resources the school provided, we were able to gain the experience needed to become successful restaurateurs.

So far, what accomplishments, both personally and professionally, are you most proud of and why?

  • Diego Ng: My proudest accomplishment both personally and professionally of course is opening Temple Street Eatery. The restaurant has given me an opportunity to express my life experience through our food and service and it has given us a means to teach and educate our staff and our guests the meaning of hospitality.
  • Alex Kuk: Opening a restaurant with the support of family and a great friend who has become a brother and be able to expand on what we truly love to do has been a huge accomplishment. To be able to give back to the FIU community and industry every day is a reward.

What advice would you give to current students and/or young alumni?

  • Diego Ng: My biggest advice would be to challenge yourself in every aspect of life. As Rev. Run says “Always do your best and forget the rest!”

What’s your favorite item from your menu?

  • Diego Ng: Every single item from the menu holds a special connection for me because each dish is a life experience or a chapter in my life and now I am happy to share it with everyone!
  • Alex Kuk: Each item has a meaning from our journey to our location. But my favorite would be bibimbap with bulgogi beef. Spicy sauce, creamy fried egg, sweet beef all come together for great flavor and taste.

We invite you to check out Temple Street Eatery throughout the month of August. Just mention your an FIU Panther and receive 10% off your bill!

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