Luke Nguyen, the popular Vietnamese-Australian chef has taken our screens, cookbook collections and suburbs by storm with his personable charm and perfectly balanced interpretations of aromatic Vietnamese fare.
Having conquered travel shows and restaurants, he takes to the waterways of Asia in partnership with APT.
From the decadent 'Indochine by Luke Nguyen' private dining experience on RV AmaLotus, to masterclasses at GRAIN by Luke Nguyen cooking studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Luke truly highlights the flavours of Asia, especially in Vietnam.
"I have a very close connection to Asia. My mother is Vietnamese/Chinese; I was born in Thailand and raised in a restaurant in Cabramatta, NSW. I travel through Asia not only for cooking inspiration, but also to be closer to my strong heritage and culture," says Luke.
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"Food is a really important expression of the Vietnamese culture. It tells a story of the land and of the history of the Vietnamese people. With Chinese, French and Thai influences, the food offers up a unique balance on the palate alongside lots of colour and tradition.
"Food in Vietnam brings the whole family together and it’s a social event. For me, demonstrating how the local cuisine is sourced and made is a way of opening a door to the Vietnamese way of life."
But he doesn't just take a back seat once menus have been set. Luke also hosts and personally guides his own itineraries, with two upcoming trips in 2016.
Guests can enjoy the company of Luke, 'getting to you know you' sessions and the fervour and flavours of street eats on the 14-day Luke Nguyen's Vietnam and Mekong River Cruise departing on July 29 and December 2.
Both itineraries begin with three nights in Ho Chi Minh City where Luke hosts a walking tour through bustling laneways and markets in search of the best street food and takes guests to the home where his parents grew up.
He hopes cruisers disembark with a greater and deeper appreciation for Vietnamese society.
"Guests who travel on my hosted tours will have the opportunity to experience the real Vietnam and Cambodia; see it through a local’s eyes and get a behind the scenes glimpse of tradition, culture and the daily lives of local people," Luke explains.
"I am a big foodie, so of course all our guests get an unforgettable food experience, such as street food, great restaurants and cooking classes in Saigon, as well as on the cruise.
"The history and culture of a country is served up in its cuisine and through food, I hope to share the story of Vietnam."