March 19, 2019

Viet Nam Flavours

On the picture chef Sido de Brabander, Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa  and chef Dao Van Son.

By Youri Moes.

It is often said that the best way to understand a person is to sit down with them and share a meal. To see how people gather around a communal space with each other is a window into their methods, traditions and culture. We are happy to have experienced this again with another great gastronomic event, Flavours of Viet Nam, organized together with the Embassy of Viet Nam, Crowne Plaza Promenade and Diplomat Magazine.

With this being the latest of these events it is always a pleasure to see people learn about a nation’s culture through the most enjoyable way possible, its food.

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Vietnamese painter Nguyen Minh Son .

Of course there is more to a culture than just culinary prowess. Before the dinner began a reception was held where some impressive artwork made by Nguyen Minh Son was on display. In these paintings people saw beautiful style of life as well as landscapes. The artist was present to talk to guests, and answer questions.

His style and love for his country were very much present, with scenes of the old city of Hanoi being painted in beautiful warm colours. Many pieces were on display, and made it clear that there is diverse and beautiful art coming out of Viet Nam.

The ambassador of Japan, H.E. Hiroshi Inomata trying Vietnamese food.

These beautiful pieces of art were accompanied with new export items, all coming in from Viet Nam. Coffee, tea, dolls and toys, among other things were all on display. The embassy clearly shows that Viet Nam has much to offer to the world. To further emphasize this point, representatives from Vietnam Airlines were there to advertise their new fleet of flights, with their new direct flights from European airports to Vietnam, now Amsterdam, Paris, Moscow, London, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Madrid, Nice, Barcelona and Frankfurt.

They helped bring the culinary talent of the evening, Chef Dao Van Son as well as the painter Nguyen Minh Son from Vietnam to be present for the event.

Many guests were present among which, ambasadors, diplomats, Dutch ministry staff, business leaders and entrepeneurs. Food is often a great incentive to reconnect and see old friends, and in this regard the event was a great success.

All throughout the night greetings were heard between old friends, remarking how long it had been since they last saw one another. Ambassadors from Russia, Venezuela, Philippines, Palestine, South Africa, Japan, Bulgaria,  Thailand, and many others were present. To see these parts of society come together over a shared admiration of Vietnamese cuisine truly is a testament to the importance of celebrating cultures.

Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa, the Ambassador of South Africa H.E. Bruce Koloane and the Ambassador of Bulgaria H.E. Rumen Alexandrov.

Naturally the main event was the food, and the guests of the event were in for quite a treat. Chef Dao Van Son, a master chef with 2 Michelin star prepared the dishes for the event.

Chef Dao Van Son is famous throughout the culinary world for his work in the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi and Sofitel Plaza Saigon. His most acclaimed work is in his restaurant La Table du Chef in Hanoi; the modest Son cooked already for the King and Queen of Norway, presidents like Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin,  Bin Clinton, Jiang Zhe Min,  Fidel Castro and more.

H.E. Ambassador Haifa Haissami Madah, Chief of Mission OPCW – ICC Permanent Mission of Venezuela and H.E. Jose Bucarello Ambassador, Multilateral Mission of Venezuela.

The dishes on display took the guests on a culinary trip of classic Vietnamese food, prepared by a master of the craft. With flairs of fish sauce, coriander, spice and fresh ingredients, the food was loved by all people in attendance. Spring Rolls with lobster, lotus root salad, bún cha style pork and roast duck were just a few of things the guests were allowed to indulge in.

Just looking at the ingredients that were used by chef Dao Van Son, we see the core elements of Vietnamese cuisine. Using star fruit, banana flowers, beansprouts in combination with beautifully fresh fish and meats the chef makes amazing experiences in sweet, sour and spicy flavours.

The amazing culinary and artistic experience, together with great company and an open bar, was sure to lead to an amazing atmosphere and resulted in people leavingwith full stomachs and happy memories. 

Viet Nam Flavors was part of a series of gastronomic events hosted at Crowne Plaza once a month. We will have events like this one together with the embassies of Mexico, Uzbekistan,  Italy and Hungary. Naturally we would be happy and honoured to see returning faces to these culinary experiences.


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