SHELTON, WA – Mason General Hospital Foundation is pleased to present the 2019 Flame Award, sponsored by Sierra Pacific Industries, to beloved chef and Shelton icon Xinh Dwelley. Each year the Flame Award is presented to a strong supporter of Mason General Hospital Foundation and Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics for the recipient’s leadership and outstanding support of our combined vision of United Community, Empowered People, Exceptional Health. Dwelley will be honored at the Foundation’s Fantasy Forest Business Luncheon, Friday, Nov. 22, and at the Gala and Live Auction, Saturday, Nov. 23, both at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton.
Dwelley exuded warmth and comfort to Mason County diners for two decades as the chef of Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House in downtown Shelton, owned by Taylor Shellfish Farms. The restaurant was home to the popular and delicious “Cooking with Xinh” fundraiser for the Sherwood Guild, a former chapter of Mason General Hospital Foundation. Dwelley has also given back to the Foundation’s signature holiday fundraiser, Fantasy Forest, and the annual Golf Tournament through several donations of gift certificates for dinner at her restaurant over the years.
“It’s not just about what she’s given to the Foundation directly, but also how she has positively impacted the entire community,” said MGHF Board President Whitney Jones. “She is one of those people who has given so generously and so joyously to the Mason County community, and the Foundation has cherished the relationship it has had with Xinh over the years. Our board is so happy to recognize and honor her for her contributions.”
Dwelley’s talent for food and cooking developed as a young woman in South Vietnam, according to Taylor Shellfish. She moved to the United States in 1970, near Olympia, and began selling egg rolls at the local Farmer’s Market. She worked as an oyster shucker for Taylor Shellfish Farms, and her skill helped Dwelley win the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship five times. She also won several regional cooking competitions, and was honored as a 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce. Taylor Shellfish opened Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House in downtown Shelton in 1996. The restaurant closed in 2016 when Dwelley decided to retire.
Earlier this year, Dwelley released a cookbook, “Xinh’s Pacific Coast Flavors,” published at cost by Tracing the Fjord. Dwelley generously donated copies of the popular cookbook to the Foundation, and they will be up for auction at the Fantasy Forest Gala and Live Auction. Tickets for all Fantasy Forest events can be purchased at www.masongeneral.com/community/events/fantasy-forest and you can also purchase copies of Dwelley’s cookbook at https://buy.taylorshellfishfarms.com/merchandise/xinhs-pacific-coastal-flavors.