Experience Australian Food Culture in Vietnam with Taste of Australia
Taste of Australia, the much-anticipated celebration of Australian food, drinks and culture in Vietnam, officially got a running start on April 23rd with a Media Launch hosted by Australian Consul-General Julianne Cowley.
The festival spans the month of May with events in Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City to share the diversity of Australian food culture with North, Central and Southern Vietnam. A partnership between the Australian Government and numerous sponsors, producers, restaurants and distributors, Taste of Australia will embark upon 20 official events while many Australian owned businesses throughout the country will create their own Taste of Australia inspired menus and promotions.
Taste of Australia Launches in Saigon with Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa
Participants at the Media Launch were treated to a Master cooking class with Vietnamese-Australian, Celebrity Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa at GRAIN Cooking Studio in Saigon’s District 1. The menu included three courses, which showcased a fusion of Australian ingredients and wine pairings with Vietnamese twists. Each course—Father Land, Mother Sea and Southeast Moment—brought to light some of Australia’s most well-known imports like beef and king prawns.
At Grain Cooking Studio with Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa
Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa’s dual roots inspired the first course entitled “Father Land”, which was an Australian beef salad with beetroot, Australian grapes, cherry tomatoes, red radish, roasted rice-lemongrass, galangal, ginger and chili-garlic, palm sugar dressing. The dish, prepared by participants per the Chef’s instructions, was an explosion of Vietnamese and Australian flavours; an excellent display of how the cuisines of the two countries can interact with aplomb.
The author preparing Australian Beef Salad
Andy Wall and Jackie Lam, the couple behind RADA wines, were on hand to explain their choice of pairing a white Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon from Hunter Valley, Australia with the beef.
“Most people are surprised to see a white paired with beef rather than a red”, Wall said. “But we chose this wine to show that it is also possible for a white wine to bring out the beautiful sweet and sour flavours of the meat.”
Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa showing how to properly simmer the Australian beef
Safe and Sustainable Australian Products in Vietnam
RADA, which stands for Really Affordable, Deliciously Australian, is one of the key wine sponsors of Taste of Australia. Their wines, available at https://www.ilovewines.vn/, feature varietals from all regions of Australia. Some of the more interesting references that will be used during Taste of Australia events are the organic and bio-dynamic wines.
Australia has a long-standing reputation for health-conscious products and wines are no exception. For those unfamiliar with the term, biodynamic is a form of agriculture that goes a step further than organic. It includes techniques for soil regeneration, ethical farming practices and holistic composting.
One of the pillars of the Taste of Australia event is to “Reinforce Australia’s international reputation as a supplier of food and beverages that are high-quality, safe and sustainable.
Australian Consul-General in Vietnam Julianne Cowley said “Australia and Vietnam are natural food partners because of proximity. We are able to import food directly from Paddock to Plate.” She explained that the idea behind this concept is that the faster growers are able to get the products to consumers the fresher the food will be. This is part of what gives Australia an upper hand in its reputation as being safe, clean and trusted.
Australia’s top imports into Vietnam are barley, malt and beef. The first two speak to the strong craft beer scene at play between the two countries, many of which will be available for consumption at the Taste of Australia events. Wheat is another strong contender, with as much as 70 percent of the wheat in any given banh mi coming from Australia, according to Consul-General Cowley.
Consul-General Cowley finished off the Media Launch with this statement: “It’s a very important part of our culture to invite friends and family to enjoy food together and this is also an important part of Vietnamese culture.”
This is certainly something that Taste of Australia Ambassadors such as Celebrity Chefs Luke Nguyen and Ngo Thanh Hoa have taken to heart with their smart-casual style of dining that makes their cuisine accessible and enjoyable in both Australia and Vietnam.
We, at City Pass Guide, are certainly looking forward to seeing how the Australian foodie month plays out while preparing our appetites for the gastronomic revelry to come!
Media participants at the Taste of Australia Launch with Australian Consul-General in Vietnam Julianne Cowley
Taste of Australia Event Schedule
For a full schedule of events, including special menus at participating restaurants and Australian business promotions, and booking information, go to Taste of Australia’s official Facebook page.
The 2019 festival kicks off on the beaches of Danang with the Taste of Australia Community BBQ at The Ocean Villas.
Australia’s finest do black-tie at the Taste of Australia Gala in Hanoi at Melia Hotel, Hanoi.
Travellers can enjoy a Taste of Australia Themed Jetstar Flight between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The Gala comes to Ho Chi Minh City at Park Hyatt Saigon. We’ve heard rumours that a Perfetto Cafe Cocktail will be served.
Register now for this epic Taste of Australia NOSH Supperclub Dinner at Luke Nguyen’s GRAIN Cooking Studio. Only 70 available places for this celebration of all things Australian.
17 (HCMC), 21 (Danang), 23 (Hanoi) May
Wine Masterclass with Australian Master Wine Trainer Virginia Jacobs.
Taste of Australia Twilight Cinema at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi.
Australian Wine and Food Journey at Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City.
Taste of Australia’s Culinary Competition heats up with the preliminary competitions in HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and Nha Trang. What’s at stake here? Two Vietnamese culinary students will have the chance to win a scholarship to study at a famous hospitality and culinary institute in Australia.
Taste of Australia Culinary Competition Final at Le Méridien Saigon hotel.
Showcase in Hanoi with Adam Liaw, winner of MasterChef Australia 2010.
Image source: Taste of Australia