Taste of Australia is an annual festival celebrating Australian food and culture in Vietnam. The event showcases the best of Australia’s safe, sustainable, and high-quality produce, and how it can enhance Vietnamese cuisine.

Previously held in restaurants, the festival has now opened its doors to the public, allowing everyone to experience Australian cuisine and culture first-hand. According to Australian Deputy Consul-General Ciaran Chestnutt, the event aims to promote Australian produce and beverages to the Vietnamese people.

This year’s two-day festival, held at Le Van Tam Park in District 1, offers a diverse range of activities. From food and beverage stalls to a dedicated kids’ zone, there’s something for everyone. The event also features educational showcases, music performances by the First Nations dance group Tribal Experiences from Queensland, and a zero-waste cooking demonstration by renowned Vietnamese-Australian chef Tommy Pham.

The Tribal Experiences, a dance group from Queensland’s First Nations, performs at the Taste of Australia 2024 launch reception in Ho Chi Minh City on May 10, 2024. Photo courtesy of Dong Nguyen and Tuoi Tre News

Chef Tommy Pham’s cooking demonstration is a highlight of the event. He plans to present a unique dish: steak infused with the flavors of bò lúc lắc (Vietnamese shaking beef). By combining Vietnamese flavors with the familiar Australian staple of steak and mashed potatoes, Tommy aims to create a delicious fusion experience.

Vietnamese Australian chef Tommy Pham engages the guests at the Taste of Australia 2024 launch reception, held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 10, 2024. Photo courtesy of Dong Nguyen and Tuoi Tre News

One of the key focuses of Tommy’s cooking performance is sustainability. He wants to showcase innovative ways to use ingredients without wasting them. For example, he plans to demonstrate how to utilize potato skins, which are often discarded, by turning them into a crispy garnish.

“We’re promoting sustainable cooking,” Tommy said. “I want to show people that we can use things that are generally thrown out, and for me, I connect it with rau thơm (Vietnamese herbs). It’s a great way to reduce waste and create delicious, innovative dishes.”

Schedule for the two-day Taste of Australia 2024 festival in Ho Chi Minh City, May 11-12, as provided by the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City.