“A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his [her] kitchen rules the human race. One considers him [her] as a minister of heaven, because his [her] kitchen is a temple, in which his [her] ovens are the altar.”
- Marc Antoine Desaugiers
My name is Vicky Pham-Le. A mother of two and wife of one (heh heh). In 2014, I quit the 9 to 5 to focus on the more important parts of my life, raising my children and taking care of my family. In between being a master hide-and-seeker and boo-boo kisser, I spend my spare time in the kitchen.
I love trying new recipes and tasting new foods. I particularly enjoy traditional Vietnamese cooking. Vietnamese cuisine beautifully encompasses sweet, sour and savory. Its reliance to fresh herbs and vegetables makes it one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, and the cuisine that I strive to keep alive in my kitchen.
I learned how to cook from the least likely of people, my mother-in-law. She pushed cooking on me and initially, I had little interest. I believed her strategy was to teach me all that she knew so I wouldn't starve her newly-wedded son. You wouldn't believe how much culinary information I retained despite being uninterested.
My mother-in-law is an amazing home cook with professional restaurant experiences. I quickly learned to appreciate her cooking after realizing that there was no way for me to replicate any of the traditional Vietnamese dishes on my own.
She continues to share new recipes, put out fires in my kitchen and rescue what I consider unsalvageable dishes. Her patience in the kitchen and love for making authentic Vietnamese food are contagious, and I strive to be at the same caliber one day.
I now find cooking a very joyful experience. It's the time in the day when I can shut out the world and bring raw materials together to make something edible and delicious (most times). Either learning from my many mistakes or I enjoying good food, I continue to add new knowledge to my culinary repertoire.
What I strive for this blog is to document some of my favorite traditional Vietnamese dishes. The goal is quantify “a dash of this” and a “dash of that” from traditional family cooking into recipes so that they can be accessible by anyone. Aside from traditional Vietnamese food, I also document recipes from other backgrounds that I just simply want to try and share.
This blog is my own personal collection of recipes that I can access from anywhere to reference back to my notes. Hopefully this blog serves the same purpose for others, or at least, inspire people to get in the kitchen and make something wonderful.