Since Tracey Lister just released her book "Made in Vietnam", I was curious about other books from Luke Nguyen. It leads me to a big book "The Food of Vietnam". I already watched the TV series by Luke Nguyen about Vietnamese culinary journey. I loved those series since they reflect all beautiful and charming Vietnam picturesque landscape. You will see delicious food in focus view, and spectacular scenes as a background view.
Beautiful place, good food, no more to remember. I still wanted to read every story in each place that the book describes: Phu Quoc, Mekong Delta, Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong, Sapa, Bac Ha,... The author wrote very well. If you read the book, you almost see the scenes behind the text. You can draw in your head the actions and scenes of the TV-cooking-show crew through the stories. More importantly, you see the love story and the hard work behind each recipe. And that is why it is more delicious.
If you read a lonely planet book to travel to Vietnam, I strongly recommend you also read this book as the pair to the lonely planet book. The author is quite ambitious. Thick book - 360 pages - You can spend each day for a recipe within 365 days of a year. There are three popular recipes for Rice Paper Rolls in this book: char-grilled prawn Rice Paper Roll, Chilli beef Rice Paper Roll, and prawn and pork Rice Paper Roll.
I used to work for a telecom company in Hochiminh city for two years. In that time I had to travel to a market at least once a week. The story from Luke Nguyen in the BenThanh market brought me back the memory of some really good foods in this market. Reading the book also reminds me of a story in a Kung Fu book (and movie). The main character, after mastering a martial art, went down from the mountain and travelled around his country. He then learned the good and the best from other martial arts, and also transferred his techniques to the others. I think Luke Nguyen journey to discover food in Vietnam is in the same way. It is very impressive and respectful.
Note: this book's intro was originally in the book section on the website. The book section is then relocated to the blogs area.