The Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City held a press conference on Wednesday morning to launch the Taste of Australia 2022, an annual celebration of Australia’s food and beverages in Vietnam, at Vietnam House Restaurant in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
The Taste of Australia 2022, which will take place for two months after a long hiatus due to COVID-19, is an opportunity to showcase the fusion of the best of Australian food materials and Vietnamese cooking culture.
The press conference was attended by Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Sarah Hooper, Australia's Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Rebecca Ball, Vietnamese-Australian chef Luke Nguyen.
Consul General Hooper told Tuoi Tre News that the event is a fantastic opportunity to bring Taste of Australia back to the city and to highlight Australian food produce.
|Australia's Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Rebecca Ball (left) and Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Sarah Hooper (right) talk about premium Australian produce at Vietnam House Restaurant in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, April 20, 2022. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
“I think Taste of Vietnam is ideally suited to a market like Vietnam,” Hooper said.
“Vietnam has a world-class cuisine with foods that everybody around the world wants to eat. Australia has fantastically safe and high-quality produce.
“So it's combining Australian produce with Vietnamese cooking, culture, and recipes that really brings it to life.”
Australia is fortunate to have a large number of Australians of Vietnamese heritage who are fantastic chefs because they can showcase Australian produce to its best advantage through Vietnamese cooking recipes and culture, the diplomat said.
|Premium Australian products will be sold in some of the biggest supermarket systems in Vietnam within the next few months. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
“People see Australian food as something they can trust because they know that when it's produced, it's produced under all kinds of standards that translate to food safety," she said.
“And this is important for Vietnamese consumers, who are happy to know that there's a safe food option for them.”
Speaking at the press briefing, Australia's Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Ball said that the food products on display will be sold in supermarkets in Vietnam within the next few months, allowing Vietnamese consumers to experience the culture and innovation of Australian produce.
Participants at the press conference also have a chance to experience premium, delicious Australian produce through a special menu designed and prepared by world-renowed Vietnamese-Australian chef Luke Nguyen.
|Chef Luke Nguyen showcases his two dishes made from Australian high-end abalones and oysters. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
According to Nguyen, his parents taught him to cook and always told him to use a lot of seasoning powder to get the flavor when he cooked Vietnamese dishes, but everything changed when he went to culinary school.
“My parents taught me how to cook. As I grew older and attended culinary school, I began to wonder why all Vietnamese restaurants tasted the same," he recounted.
"It’s due to the fact that they all use the same additives to keep it affordable.
“In culinary school, I was taught how to elevate Vietnamese dishes and how to put Vietnamese cuisine on the culinary map of the world."
|A dish of raw oysters topped with salmon roe by chef Luke Nguyen. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
Nguyen also remarked that the inspiration for the menu at the event is to elevate Vietnamese cuisine.
“It’s a really great match to combine premium, safe Australian products with Vietnamese flavors," he observed.
“I want to introduce Vietnamese food to the world.
"And I do this by bringing Australian products into Vietnamese dishes. And we elevate the cuisine to a much higher level."
Along with Australian produce, the Taste of Australia 2022 also features sophisticated Australian wine varieties and the versatility of Australian wine for pairing with Vietnamese food.
Consumers have grown accustomed to this event occurring annually to learn more about wine after five years of his company collaborating with the Australian Consulate General to promote wine culture to Vietnamese people, said Nguyen Khac Huy, business development manager of Red Apron Fine Wines & Spirits.
|Nguyen Khac Huy (right), business development manager of Red Apron Fine Wines & Spirits, talks to a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter during an interview at Vietnam House Restaurant in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, April 20, 2022. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
“Taste of Australia is not simply an event to promote Australian wine or Australian products in Vietnam,” Huy said.
“It also promotes a more positive image of wine in Vietnam, bringing wine closer to the people, and altering their culture and way of enjoying wine.
“It is challenging to integrate wine into Vietnamese culture.
“However, the market has become more active in the last decade, indicating that Vietnamese people are becoming more conscious of their lifestyle and eating habits.”
|Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Sarah Hooper gives a speech at the opening of the Taste of Australia 2022 press conference at Vietnam House Restaurant in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, April 20, 2022. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre|
Huy added that pairing Vietnamese cuisine with wine serves as a means of bridging two cultures and introducing Vietnamese cuisine to the rest of the world.
The Taste of Australia 2022 will partner with up to 40 of the best restaurants in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to feature the first-class quality of true Australian produce, fresh fruits, and products in the local market.