On the 26th July we will have an exceptional guest chef, Cuong Lu. Cuong's family are originally from Vietnam. As you'll see in his little introduction, he is another (like me) from an immigrant food culture, as many of our volunteers and guest chefs are. Often, when you arrive in a foreign place, the easiest thing that there is to remind you of home is food. You cling to that food - whatever you can get - I remember as a child, living in the Middle East, my mother's friends making noodles and my mother growing beansprouts in the airing cupboard. Food becomes a really important part of "home" for all of us. Luckily for us all now, ingredients are easy to get and we will truly get an authentic taste of Cuong's "home". In fact he has cooked several of these dishes for the volunteers at the supperclub (the harshest critics!) and we all loved them, so we are sharing him with you.
Here's a little from Cuong:
Living in an exciting city such as London has many benefits but one of the biggest drawbacks of living so far away from my family, who are based in Adelaide Australia, is the lack of lovingly cooked meals. My mum was born in Ho Chi Minh City and my dad from a more rural area called Kien Giang, Rach Gia and is of Chinese descent. Dad and his brothers have all worked as chefs and have owned and run restaurants at different points in their lives. Thankfully for me, this meant that I grew up around food and developed a great relationship with eating and sharing food.
Being refugees and coming from very simple means, we learnt to savor what we had and make the most of what we could forage. This is the essence of Vietnamese food. Staple ingredients mixed, combined and thrown together in different measures to produce a mouthwatering array of delights. My favourite flavours bring together the savoury tinges of fish sauce and the sweetness of caramel.
Out of my constant cravings for comforting and wholesome home cooked food, I attempted to replicate the dishes my family used to make. And after 8 years of practice I feel that I am ready to share my interpretations with others. Recently, I have made the big decision to chase and share my passion for authentic Vietnamese food I grew to love with others and this will be my first attempt at feeding complete strangers and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be sharing it with you at the PSC.
Canh ga chien - Fried chicken wings, doused in a delicious sweet-salt-sour dressing
đậu phụ ram moui - Salt and pepper aubergine
Canh Chua Ga - Hot and sour soup
Banh Khot - Mini pancakes with mung beans and shrimp
Mi Xao Chai - Fried Egg noodles with veggies
Goi Cuon Nem Nuong - Summer rolls with honey pork balls
Bo luc lac - Shaking beef salad
Xuon Ram Ngot - Slow cooked ginger pork ribs,
Ca Kho To - Chicken curry with sweet potatoes
rau muống xào - Stir fried morning glory
Matcha (green tea) and Goji Berry Cheesecake
Sweet-savoury Sesame Rice Balls
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