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Vietnamese Chefs to Travel to Mauritius as Culinary Emissaries

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Mauritius, an island nation off the east coast of Africa with a colonial French heritage, has called upon two of Hanoi’s foremost chefs to put on a 10-day-long festival of Vietnamese food May 11-24.

The Press Club’s Pham Thanh Son and Tran Quyet Thang will demonstrate the fine art of Vietnamese cooking at food and beverage outlets of the renowned Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel.

“While regional capitals like Singapore have called upon Vietnam’s chefs in the past, the Mauritian invitation speaks to an expanding sphere of interest in Vietnamese cuisine around the world,” said Kurt Walter, the Press Club’s general manager.

Since the Press Club’s Executive Chef Marcel Isaak forged new links between Vietnamese cuisine and Western palates in 1997 with publication of The Food of Vietnam, Press Club chefs have built innumerable bridges between the country’s food and the wider world’s tables.

And the world’s taken notice. In early March, best-selling cookbook author and food critic, Patricia Wells, dined at the Press Club during a culinary tour of the country. In 2010, Wells will relocate her cooking school to Vietnam for a special two-week stint in her first foray to Asia.

In the meantime, diners at the Labourdonnais in Port Louis will explore the Far East from the tops of their tables — in a daily Vietnamese buffet and from the set menus in a second hotel outlet.

“I can’t think of better emissaries than Son and Thang,” said Isaak. “They both have an intuitive and a learned sense of what goes into great Vietnamese dishes. They’re incredibly fluent in communication of Vietnamese food as one of the world’s healthiest and tastiest cuisines.”

The Labourdonnais is renowned for its food and wine festivals. The hotel regularly hosts Michelin’s 3-star chefs from France, from Japan, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, India and South Africa. Now Vietnam will take center stage.

Son is a 29-year old chef de partie who has worked at the Press Club since 2003. He has represented Vietnamese cuisines at food fairs in Singapore (twice) and Laos.

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