23-year-old girl wins second Vietnam MasterChef

In her element: Hoang Minh Nhat performs at the Vietnam MasterChef contest on Saturday. - Photo kenh14.vn

VietNamNet Bridge - Hoang Minh Nhat, a 23-year-old bank employee, beat fellow Vietnamese overseas home cook Le Chi of Canada in the pressure-packed finale of the second Vietnam MasterChef. Right after the show, Nhat decided to quit her current job to devote all of her time and efforts to cooking. "From now on, I am completely free to pursue my life's biggest dream," she said. … [Read more...]

Banker quits after cooking prize

In her element: Hoang Minh Nhat performs at the Vietnam MasterChef contest on Saturday. - Photo kenh14.vn

HA NOI (VNS) - Hoang Minh Nhat, a 23-year-old bank employee, beat fellow Vietnamese overseas home cook Le Chi of Canada in the pressure-packed finale of the second Vietnam MasterChef. … [Read more...]

Winning the war, losing the battlefields

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War heritages carry great tourism potential, but Vietnam's patchy record inspires no confidence it can be tapped effectively, experts say A foreign child visitor with a Vietnamese flag at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. A new proposal to develop battlefield tourism in Vietnam has failed to excite tourism industry insiders who doubt concerned authorities have the imagination, vision or skills to effectively exploit the potential niche. "If a word association exercise were to mention "Vietnam," it would not be surprising if most, if not all international respondents, said "War." The association would be apt not only because of the Vietnam War against the United States, but also thanks to the long history the country has of fighting invaders as well as colonial and imperial forces - the Chinese, the French and the Americans. Now, a small war - of words and ideas - has broken out over the idea of offering battlefield tours, taking advantage of Vietnam's long history of … [Read more...]

European haute cuisine godfather comes to Vietnam

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"Let me have one more of your bo bia (a kind of Vietnamese roll)," said Michel Roux Sr., one of the Europe’s most renowned and revered master chefs, after finishing a bowl of meatless pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). French master chef Michel Roux, who is among the 10 richest chefs in the world (three of the others are his former students), has declined many offers to co-open restaurants. He has only opened the world-famous Le Gavroche and Waterside Inn restaurants in the UK, the latter of which is the longest-running three Michelin-star restaurant in Britain, at 28 years. The iconic chef recently opened a French restaurant, called La Maison 1888, at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, in the central city of Danang. "I felt really at home and peaceful in Vietnam. I had the feeling that Vietnam would be a promising tourist destination in Asia," Roux shared while recalling his first impression of Vietnam eight years ago. Fastidious master chef Roux … [Read more...]

Baby Beckham on trial at Chelsea… and Drogba, Bridge and chef Ramsay all have their kids at Blues academy, too

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Brooklyn Beckham is aiming to follow in his famous father's footsteps after taking part in a secret trial for Chelsea. David Beckham took his eldest son to the club's Cobham training centre on Tuesday for his latest run-out in front of academy director Neil Bath. It is the third time 13-year-old Brooklyn - who was in the academy at LA Galaxy during his father's time in the MLS - has been watched by Chelsea and he is scheduled for more sessions over the coming weeks. Showing similar playing characteristics to his dad, the Beckhams' first born is dreaming of a career in the top flight. Chelsea tried to keep Brooklyn's trial secret, but some of the club's academy players could not resist posing for pictures with David, who watched from the sidelines during his son's trial match for the Under 14 team. Chelsea's academy is fast becoming a celebrity hangout with a number of top players' children there as the club searches for new talent. Former player Wayne Bridge, … [Read more...]

Vietnamese cuisine comes closer to the world

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2012 marks a year in which Vietnamese cuisine has been widely introduced to the world, after a number of local street foods have been ranked on lists of the world’s best foods and visually-impaired home cook Christine Ha, of Vietnamese origin, was crowned US MasterChef of season 3. In January, Ho Chi Minh City was ranked among the world’s top ten cities for street food by the US’s monthly culinary magazine Food & Wine. … [Read more...]

The people who honor Vietnamese cuisine

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VietNamNet Bridge - A blind girl who is an amateur cook became the champion of the U.S. MasterChef 2012. A veteran chef won the Gold Cup at an international culinary competition in Beijing. They are the ones who have promoted Vietnamese cuisine in the world. Blind cook wows 'Master Chef' "That is the Vietnamese food" In a world full of sharp knives, fires, fragile dishes... a little blind girl passed 30,000 normal contestants to become the champion of the U.S. MasterChef competition. … [Read more...]

Michel Roux opens restaurant in Vietnam

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Kieu Giang The information was unveiled by Roux and the management board of the hotel last week in HCMC. Dedicated to the art of culinary excellence and classic epicurean experiences, French-born Roux is one of the most influential chefs in Europe. His second restaurant, The Waterside Inn, which he opened in 1972 in Bray, Berkshire, recently became the first restaurant outside of France to retain three Michelin stars for 27 years, the longest standing in history. La Maison 1888 will blend exquisite French cuisine with the stunning view of the Monkey Mountain. The design of the restaurant recreates an antique French mansion with each dining area created as an intimate niche reflecting a period room, for example, a Travellers' Room, the Accountant's Room or a Madame's Boudoir. The restaurant serves six starters, eight main courses and six desserts designed by Roux and his selected team which includes 12 chefs and eight to ten assistants. "In the first phase La Maison 1888 … [Read more...]

Vietnamese-native blind girl becomes King Chef

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VietNamNet Bridge – A Vietnamese-native blind woman has written a true fairytale in the United States. On the evening of September 10, the final episode of the reality show Master Chef 2012 was aired in the expectations of millions of viewers, many of them from Vietnam. And after two hours of the toughest competition of the 3rd season, Christine Ha passed Josh Marks to become the new Master Chef of the US. … [Read more...]

Blind woman wins ‘MasterChef’

The sight-impaired Vietnamese-American woman Christine Ha won the title of MasterChef during the show's finale, which aired on the Fox Television Network on Sept. 10 night. The 33-year-old woman beat out her fellow competitor – Josh Marks, a US Army Contract Specialist from Jackson , Mississippi – to win the title, which was accompanied by a 250,000 USD grand prize and a cookbook deal. On the Season 3 finale, both Ha and Marks conceptualised and prepared a three-course meal during their two-hour final challenge. … [Read more...]

Christine Ha crowned Masterchef winner

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Season Three of MASTERCHEF came to an unforgettable conclusion as judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot named Christine Ha the winner of FOX's hit home cooking competition series. Ha, 32, is a graduate student from Houston, TX, and the series' first-ever blind contestant. In addition to earning the MASTERCHEF title, Ha walked away with a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize. "Winning MASTERCHEF is the biggest accomplishment of my life," said Christine Ha. "It has taught me to believe in myself and trust my intuition. I am incredibly humbled to have shared this experience with all the other talented home cooks who tried out, especially those in the Top 18 who cooked alongside me for so many challenges." "Christine has the most extraordinary palate, and she really elevated the competition by conceptualizing and executing the most stunning dishes," said judge and executive producer Gordon Ramsay. "Next season's competition has quite an act to follow!" Ha became … [Read more...]

Blind cook of Vietnamese origin wins US MasterChef

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Visually impaired home cook Christine Ha, of Vietnamese origin, was crowned US MasterChef season 3 after an unprecedented finale aired Monday with her Southeast Asian three-course meal. Christine Ha and Josh Marks cook during their US MasterChef Season 3's finale aired on September 10, 2012Photo: Wnypapers.com >> Blind chef tastes her way through US cooking show Christine, a 33-year-old graduate from Houston, beat out Mississippi's Josh Marks to win the title of MasterChef, a cookbook deal and a US$250,000 grand prize. In Monday finale, where the finalists had to cook an appetizer, an entree and a dessert, Christine, whose blindness was caused by a rare autoimmune disease, decided that all of her three courses should be in Southeast Asian style. Thrilling finale She created a flavorful menu with Thai papaya salad with crab, with the addition of the Vietnamese signature seasoning fish sauce, braised pork belly with rice, maitake mushrooms, and crispy kale -- which is a … [Read more...]

Blind chef fights cooking battle

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HA NOI (VNS) — Visually impaired Vietnamese American Christine Ha is in the final of US Master Chef to air at 9pm ET/PT on the Fox Television Network tonight (at 9am and 12 noon Ha Noi time tomorrow). Ha is the first sight-impaired person to be on the show, which is worth US$250,000 to the winner, plus a book deal. … [Read more...]

VN-American blind chef goes to US cooking show final

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Christine Ha, a US blind woman of Vietnamese origin, has beaten out 30,000 contestants to advance into the finale 2 of TV cooking contest MasterChef where she will compete against 24-year-old Josh Marks for the US$250,000 cash prize and a cookbook publishing contract. >> Blind chef tastes her way through US cooking show … [Read more...]

Blind OV woman enters Master Chef final

(VOV) - Christine Ha, a blind woman of Vietnamese origin, has shown her exceptional talents to overcome 30,000 contestants and advance to the final stage of the US Master Chef, which will take place on September 10. On September 4, Ha won an edge over competitor Becky Reams in the season's penultimate "Mystery Box" competition with her Vietnamese scallop stir fry. It gave her the pick of proteins in the elimination dish when the choice of proteins was chicken legs, frog legs or lamb. Her last dish, buttermilk fried chicken, was praised by Master Chef host Gordon Ramsay as "modern home cooking." … [Read more...]

Gordon Ramsay named highest earning chef in U.S.

With 24 restaurants around the world, 11 Michelin stars, numerous cookbooks, and TV shows, Gordon Ramsay is the top earning chef in the United States, with an estimated global income of $38 million, according to a new list by Forbes.com. Chef Gordon Ramsay arrives at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event in Los Angeles, California July 9, 2011.Photo: Reuters Scottish-born Ramsey, known to U.S. television audiences for his acerbic comments on "Master Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen", surpassed Rachael Ray, who earned an estimated $25 million for the year ending June 2012 from her TV show, magazine and cookbooks. Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck, whose 20 restaurants contributed to his $20 million in earnings, came in third on the list of top earning chefs who have a strong presence in the United States. Puck is based in California. "They are very diversified," said Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes.com. "There is nobody who just has restaurants. TV is a huge factor in making this list because they make so … [Read more...]

Blind cook wows ‘Master Chef’

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VietNamNet Bridge - A visually impaired Vietnamese-American woman has conquered the tough judges of a US Master Chef cooking contest to receive a white apron and advance to the next round of competition. Visionary: Christine Ha is first-ever blind Master Chef contestant. She wowed judges with her catfish braised in a claypot - a very popular Vietnamese dish. Christine Ha, who suffers from neuromyelitis optica (NMO) - an autoimmune disorder that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord and contributed to her loss of vision 10 years ago, has wowed the judges with her catfish braised in a claypot. A very popular Vietnamese traditional dish, the fish was cooked in caramel that she made herself, coconut soda, shallots, garlic and fish sauce. The judges of the reality television cooking competition, including star chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and food critic Joe Bastianich, were quite shocked to see the 32-year-old woman walk in with a white cane. The first-ever blind Master Chef … [Read more...]

Blind chef tastes her way through US cooking show

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The sense of taste and smell have never been more vital to the TV cooking contest MasterChef, where a Vietnamese American is breaking ground as the first blind competitor. Christine Ha at the Masterchef US 2012 Christine Ha, 33 and from Texas, beat out thousands of contestants this month to nab a white apron on the hit TV show hosted by Gordon Ramsay. "Wow," Ramsay said as Ha made her way to the qualifying round, guided by her husband. She might need a stick to walk, but Ha relied on herself alone to get through the competition. While other chefs spot and grab the ingredients they need, Ha smelled and tasted them, all while introducing traditional Vietnamese dishes to the judges and viewers. "Catfish is really tender and I didn't want to pick it apart," she said in explaining why she kept the bone in an entrée of catfish braised in a clay pot with caramel, coconut juice, garlic, and fish sauce, served with pickle vegetables and rice. "I think it looks more appealing, and that's … [Read more...]

Forget the burger, get me to some pho!

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There are many characteristics that make Vietnam a special place - a rich cultural history, kind people, beautiful nature and above all great food. While almost all types of Western food are available in the country's major cities, Vietnam features an abundance of delicious, cheap and healthy fare that can differ greatly by region. With complex flavors and extremely fresh ingredients, some of the world's top chefs, such as Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, have made a point to highlight this country's cuisine. There's no escaping rice in Vietnam and that's a good thing. The country is a top-3 global exporter of the staple and it is present in almost every dish. I eat a lot of food in Vietnam but I most consistently eat soups, especially pho and hu tieu, both of which use rice noodles. Soups are eaten at every meal as the white meats used are filling but light. I love that soups are also highly customizable as one can add garlic, chilies, fish sauce, ponzo sauce, lime, sprouts, … [Read more...]

Insider’s stories of the backpacker area (P2)

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Not just famous for budget hotels, the backpacker area, including Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien and Do Quang Dau streets in Ho Chi Minh City, also has a variety of restaurants and bars with an international flair where tourists can dine and party like back home. The crossroad of De Tham and Bui Vien is always crowded with touristsPhoto: Phuong Thuy P1: A convenient home for expatsP2 - More than serving food and drinks We visited Stella restaurant and café on Bui Vien Street and met Terry Willemsen-Bell, an Australian owner of the business. He confesses that he didn't know much about the restaurant being situated in a tourist area, as he was simply more excited about this new venture with his Italian friend five years ago. A couple months later, Terry's friend had another priority in Saigon, and he has been left to run the business alone to this day. Over the years, Stella has become a popular dining place among locals and tourists for its varied and delightful … [Read more...]