Vietnamese – Canadian Nguyen Viet Uyen Thu has published a cuisine – tourism book titled “My quest for yummy banh mi” featuring all aspects of the Vietnamese sandwich, from its history to regional variations and tips to places to find the best banh mi.
She spent three months from April to travel across Vietnam to learn with street vendors, home bakeries, families, restaurants, and culinary schools, and captured the regional differences in her book.
Thu, born in 1981 in Ho Chi Minh Chi City, left for Canada when she was four. She studied computer engineering and worked in Silicon Valley in the US for five years.
In 2001 she returned home for the first time since leaving to create a website for the Norfolk Group.
That trip became a turning point in her life.
“The trip opened my eyes to how large and interesting this world is.
“It started many events I took part in during the last 10 years and inspired my ambitions in cuisine, tourism, and photography and the desire to share my experiments with people who have the same ambitions,” Thu wrote in the book released July 21.
After returning to North America, her memories of the Vietnam trip and the diversity of the country’s cuisine persuaded Thu with no formal culinary or photography training to quit her job and set up a cuisine website.
“Bring your favorite restaurant recipes home” is the slogan of http://youcook.ca which features recipes and lessons from chefs around the world.
It was then that the idea of writing a book about Vietnamese banh mi first struck her.
Thu raised money for publishing it through the website and began her quest in Vietnam.
Now that the book is done and dusted, she hopes to connect with foodies in general and especially Vietnamese.
“You can share with me your cool experiments on youcook.ca. And don’t forget to recommend to me what you want to enjoy — A ‘My quest for yummy pho’ or ‘My quest for yummy bun’?” she says with a smile.
“My quest for yummy banh mi”is available at http://youcook.ca and www.questforyummy.com.