Travellers to Southeast Asia, whether they are veterans or newbies visiting the region for the first time – and no matter their individual experience of the weather, culture or hospitality of the people – will always report back the same thing: “the food was wonderful”.
Thai food in particular has long been lauded for its vibrant and toothsome melange of contrasting tones and flavours creating an enviable reputation. But, the gastronomy of Vietnam has also been gathering steam as the cuisine of choice for many, especially since the turn of the millennium.
Capitalising on this interest in the artfully balanced dishes, The Anam, an independent five-star resort on the impeccable southern coastline of Vietnam, has announced the launch of its ‘A Day in the Life’ experience, giving family guests the opportunity to join a family from the local community and learn what it is to truly live like a Vietnamese villager.
The day begins with breakfast, a meal of fresh banh mi baguettes delivered by the family’s regular baker, this is followed by an get-to-know-you session where the two families mingle over traditional Vietnamese iced coffee.
Then the fun really starts, with both groups striking out to market to buy the ingredients for the cooking workshop in the afternoon. At the hosts introduce guests to the community’s farmers and artisans, providing first hand insight to the culture and heritage of a small town Vietnam.
During the class, the Vietnamese family shares recipes handed down the generations, teaching guests how to cook each dish without toning down spice or flavour just as they would when cooking for themselves. Dishes including bò nướng lá lốt (grilled beef in betel leaf), bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodle soup) and bánh xèo (crispy pancakes) are then served for the group to indulge together as they exchange tales and experiences from their respective cultures and family life.
“There is no better family experience than sharing a home-cooked meal”
“When it comes to Vietnamese culture, nothing is as sacrosanct as your family and there is no better family experience than sharing a home-cooked meal together,” said resort founder and owner Pham Van Hien. “Through this window to local Vietnamese culture, we hope our guests will return home with not only an impressive repertoire of authentic dishes with which to impress their dinner guests but also some new friends for life.”
The ‘A Day in the Life’ Cultural Cooking Tour is offered daily from 9am and includes transfers by car or Vespa, tour guide, entrance fees, banh mi baguettes, coffee, a three-course meal including soft drinks and local beer, recipes and insurance. It is priced from 1,360,000 VND (USD 59) per person based on a family or group of 5-6 guests. Prices for smaller groups and families are available on request.