I have learned through the years that time does heal everything and sometimes that’s all you need. And other times you need to take one day at a time or even one hour at a time.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dina Butterfield.

Dina Butterfield, born and raised in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and formed a passion for cooking at an early age inspired by her grandmother. Motivated to pursue her dream, she completed culinary school in 2005 in Mexico City. From there, Butterfield worked her way up from cocktail server to office manager in various restaurants in and around Mexico City before landing her first cooking job at Eccolo Restaurant in Berkeley, California.

After working at Eccolo Restaurant and Ame Restaurant in San Francisco, Butterfield left the California coast to return to her native Mexico as Chef de Cuisine at Dos Casas Boutique Hotel in San Miguel de Allende (named 2006 Best Restaurant by Travel + Leisure). There, she was responsible for creating menus, ordering, and food preparation. Butterfield most recently held the title of Sous Chef at Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas before joining the Uchi team as Sous Chef at Uchi Dallas. She is thrilled to continue to learn and grow, sharing the knowledge she has acquired with the Uchi team with future guests.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I was born and raised in Mexico, spending much of my upbringing in San Miguel de Allende. During those formative years, my grandmother exposed me to the many regional foods that make Mexican cuisine so special and continues to hold a warm space in my heart.

As my love for cooking grew, so did my appetite to explore food and flavors beyond the boundaries of Mexico. After stints in places across the US, including California, Texas, Colorado, and Missouri, as well as travels through Europe, I’ve found a great relationship with Japanese-inspired cuisine.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Have you ever taken a job that you weren’t quite ready to conquer? Well, I did. Following a few years of cooking in San Francisco, CA, I moved back to San Miguel de Allende, taking a job as a head chef. While I’d previously had great leaders in my life, I’d not taken the proper time to absorb what would actually help me successfully manage a restaurant or people. Without going into painstaking details, lets just say things didn’t go great. Nonetheless, the learnings were plentiful.

People often use the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know.” That was very true for me at the time. However, that experience taught me to be more introspective, essentially I began to work hard at understanding my blind spots. Having that level of self-awareness has been the greatest achievement in my career.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

As cliche as it might sound, it’s really the culture at Uchi. This is the first restaurant organization I’ve come across in my career where the people really do come first. Take the pandemic for instance: Uchi didn’t hesitate to put its employees before profits.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Above all, I’d say my brother. He’s always been my biggest champion and biggest critic (for better or for worse). Through many moments of tough love, he’s given me perspective when I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Equally, he’s been the angel on my shoulder giving me the confidence to own my accomplishments and not be ashamed of sharing them with the world.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Encountering bumps, hiccups, or even failing along the way, but you don’t let that stop you. You wake up the next day, you welcome the morning, and you get after it again.

Resilient people are receptive to change. They absorb feedback and turn it into strengths. They don’t let fear get in their way. Every resilient person I’ve met in my lifetime has never been a victim of their circumstances.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

I think it takes courage to be resilient. As I’ve stated, resilient people don’t let fear get in their way. To do that takes a great amount of courage.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

Other than my family, one of my close friends Levar comes to mind when I think of resilience. He has overcome several adversities and has worked hard to get where he is right now. Whether it is family matters, personal matters and even work matters, sometimes things haven’t been easy but that has not stopped him.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

My career. People didn’t think I could become a chef and live a fulfilled life being a chef. I came across many people who didn’t think being a chef was a noble career. There were also many that minimized my choice in the profession with phrases like “do you need that to be a housewife” or “you’re too kind to be a chef.” Yet, here you see me thriving in a competitive and sometimes cutthroat industry.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

One of my greatest setbacks was getting laid off from a chef job. I was never really given constructive feedback or a “why” to being laid off, and that made me question everything about my choice to be a chef. After some time off soul-searching, my own resilience kicked in. There was no way I would walk away from something I’d chased for so long. Haha. When I think about it, that’s when my road led me back to Uchi.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

As a kid I moved a lot and lived through different experiences that to this day have made me stronger.

I’ve been able to adapt to different circumstances and it has helped me with my career and with my personal goals.

I have learned through the years that time does heal everything and sometimes that’s all you need. And other times you need to take one day at a time or even one hour at a time.

I feel like mostly I’ve been resilient to change and I’ve been able to adapt.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Approach life with an open mind.
  2. Become more self-aware with each interaction.
  3. Always go into situations with positive intent and assume others are doing the same.
  4. Be thankful for the experience that gets you to a roadblock in life. Don’t dwell on the roadblock itself.
  5. Breath. Tomorrow is a new day filled with possibility.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Cultural education. We are a global society, and it saddens me, as a multicultural person, to see so many cultural insensitivities happening around us all every day. Food is a great bridge to help people better understand cultures outside of their own.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Yes. Brené Brown. Her thoughts on vulnerability in the workplace has helped me really push forward and embrace my own resilience. I think others would really benefit from her words.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow me on Instagram: @DinaFernanda_ba

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.