Last week, an enthusiastic group of 22 foodies converged on Xanh Bistro, a modern, neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant in Fountain Valley, to experience Chef Haley Nguyen’s gourmet interpretations of this increasingly popular cuisine. Organized by social media user extraordinaire, Ted Nguyen, these lunch “twEATups” are meant to bring together good food and good company while exploring the flavors of Little Saigon. The gatherings are publicized on Twitter with the help of Neil Schaffer and Diana Wei; follow the hashtag #OCtwEATup or visit Ted’s blog for future information and conversations.
Chef Haley, shared her experiences and insights into how Little Saigon grew to become the largest Vietnamese community outside of Southeast Asia, the evolution of street food into cafes and noodle houses, and how her menu creations are not “fusion”, but based on traditional Vietnamese dishes – but those that are reserved for special celebrations.
In true foodie and social media fashion, Chef Haley’s demonstration on how to make the perfect Vietnamese spring roll was documented by the twitterazi via camera, smartphone, and Flip. Follow her simple tips and you too can make these light, delicious, and healthy appetizers.
The other highlight was the complex and unique flavors of this deliciously diverse Vietnamese cuisine itself. I flashed pics of my entree, the exotic Banana Blossom Salad, as well as those of other attendees – in the foodie world, it is perfectly acceptable to photograph other peoples’ food 🙂
And, if the video was too long for you, here’s a slideshow of How to Make Spring Rolls:
(hover over the images to see captions)