My name is Huyen Maria and i am Vietnamese, born in Hue, Central of Vietnam. I studied literature at the University of Hue and live now with my husband and children in Bali. I love Bali, love the culture, the waves, the ocean and the people of this island. Cooking has always been my passion. As I went to school, my family was very poor that we didn’t have a kitchen at home. I can remember a little girl spending hours in the garden, tried to build a simple kitchen from wood, leaves and clay, made food with fruits and plants. Just only after marriage, my mom and my mother in law led me to the world of cooking. Today, I am still a little girl playing in the kitchen; I love the original way of cooking but also want to experience with different tastes and textures, tingeing from the Vietnamese culinary culture, combined with western cooking art to create my own personal recipes.
Quality is the key of success
With a big luck, 5 years ago i met one of the greatest Chefs in Vietnam, Sakal Phoung, executive chef of Sofitel and also chairman of international chef association in Vietnam. In Vietnamese we always say “ Không Thầy đố mày làm nên – You become nothing without a teacher “. With Sakal’s support I had a chance to learn and work in the high-end kitchen of Sofitel Hotel in Saigon. It was a perfect opportunity to learn the way of cooking and organizing a professional kitchen. Later on, Sakal saw my talent and passion, he encouraged me to start building my own restaurants. “Quality, quality and again quality is the key of success for a restaurant”, said my master Sakal. I had many successful bistros and restaurants but one day i realized, my real happiness is cooking good meals and watching the people enjoy it. Today i stilll have 2 bistros that run very well in Saigon but i choose to live in Bali, just as a chef, and try to bring the best Vietnamese street food culture to this island that i call my new home.
Everyone can eat
Good food is not only nourishing but also comforting, loving, having fun and pleasure. I hope my bistros and restaurants will give you a flavor of the Vietnamese street food lifestyle, through the traditional way of cooking, which is an experience for all your senses. The stories, the foods, the photos, the furnitures, all reflect the way our family live here in Bali, as a Saigoneer.