The Little Viet Kitchen Cookbook
25th April 2018
I just wanted to write a quick blog as we received a very exciting little package in the post… The Little Viet Kitchen’s very first cookbook! Now, I love Vietnamese food and The Little Viet Kitchen’s creations in particular, but this wasn’t the only reason I was so thrilled to receive a copy. You may recognise the kitchen in the background… the pale tongue and groove panelling and brass hanging rail laden with copper pans. Yep, our St. John’s Square showroom is now on the front of a cookbook!
The front cover featuring our fabulous St. John’s Square showroom
We’ve seen our kitchens in lots of magazines but there’s something quite special about a book, you keep the good ones for years. My mum has even handed down cookbooks that were given to her by her mum. I treasure these slightly battered old books more than a lot of my most expensive possessions. There are so many recipes online but there’s nothing quite like flicking through beautiful pages stained with little splashes of past ingredients and the joy of reading someone’s story and being inspired by beautiful imagery… especially if there’s a deVOL Kitchen in there too.
Bánh mì: traditional Vietnamese sandwich served in a crusty baguette with heaps of carrot and fresh corriander
At the end of last year the owner and brilliantly talented chef of The Little Viet Kitchen, Thuy, got in touch as she had fallen in love with our pink, green and blue St. John’s Square showroom and was wondering if she would be able to shoot the cover of her book here. We’ve been big fans of this cute London restaurant for a couple of years now, it’s only about a 10 minute walk from our Tysoe Street showroom on the corner of Chapel Market in Islington, London. I actually went for my birthday when I first came to London back in 2015. I wrote a blog at the time because I was so amazed at the incredible flavours that were coming out of this tiny kitchen. We don’t usually do photoshoots here as the showroom is always so busy with design appointments but as a one-off we decided to help out and hand over the showroom for a few hours.
Bún bò Huế: Spicy beef and pork noodles in a rich aromatic broth
It was actually the day of the red sun… remember when the whole sky turned a gloomy red and for the afternoon it felt like you were on some faraway desert planet in Star Wars?! Not the ideal conditions for taking photographs but luckily Thuy had legendary food photographer, David Loftus, who has worked with some of the most loved names in the culinary world including his pal Jamie Oliver. Somehow David managed to work his magic and took some gorgeous shots of Thuy and her team pottering around our Classic kitchen.
Thuy and her dad prepping all the fresh ingredients in our showroom
Thuy decided to bring her family along to the shoot too, they were such an inspiration to her that she thought it was only right that they were a part of this too. When I was chatting to her before the shoot she told me the story of her dad who had travelled to England after the Vietnam War, risking his own life at sea, to try to find a better life for his family, memories from her grandparents’ farm and her mother’s home cooking. I won’t attempt to recount her life story, I’ll leave that to Thuy, but it was fascinating to hear about the roots of her passion and listen to tales from a childhood that was quite different from my own. There are some adorable old family photos in the book but this is probably my favourite, maybe for the caption alone: My big sister Mỹ Hạnh and me in our New Years outfits, made by mum, with our brand new shoes! We don’t look happy but I promise we were over the moon, if not just a little scared of the big man with the camera, 1986, Cẫu Ngang, Vietnam.
A sneak peek inside Thuy’s book with old family photographs from Vietnam
We are giving away a very special signed copy on our Instagram! If you’d like to have a go at these delicious recipes and read Thuy’s wonderful story, there’s still time to enter! You just need to leave a comment on the post before 1pm today (Wednesday 25th April) and we will choose someone at random to send this very special edition to. Click here to see the post.
The Little Viet Kitchen Cookbook is now on sale and you can order a copy here at a discounted online price.
Thank you to Thuy, Bloomsbury Publishing and Absolute Press for sending us a copy to share with our followers and a copy for the showroom… I can’t wait to get cooking!