A Vietnamese food connoisseur

June 14, 2006

00:04' 14/06/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: AM 805653 gửi đến 996 để nhận ảnh này
Graham Holliday.

VietNamNet – Graham Holliday, an English guy who speaks no Vietnamese, can spend hours talking about Vietnamese food.


After almost ten years living in Vietnam, the guy now is not boastful when he says that “there are not many Vietnamese dishes that I have not tried”.


Graham blogs on www.noodlepie.com, where he introduces a variety of Vietnamese dishes. His blog is just more or less like an encyclopedia on Vietnamese food with nearly 100 dishes posted meticulously.


The blog introduces many different kinds of food ranging from the most common and simple ones like Che (sweetened porridge made of glutinous rice, bean…), Chao (rice soup), Beef Noodle in Hue style to luxurious and fussy food. These dishes were presented lively with pictures looking mouth watering for any visitors who have ever logged in.


“Why did you name it noodlepie?” “In Vietnam noodle is in so many different kinds such as Bun, Mi, Pho while pie is very common food for Westerners. Noodlepie is where western and Vietnamese foods meet, where sausages meet the noodle,” explained Graham.


Since it was first launched in April 2004, Noodlepie has attracted nearly 2,000 visitors and has twice been nominated for the Bloggies Competition, which was rated as “Oscar for personal blogs”.


Although it has just been awarded the Consolation Prize, for Graham, the most important thing is the more people know about the blog, the more popular Vietnamese food gets.


Gaining the confidence of foreign visitors is something that makes Graham happiest. Many visitors wrote that they prefer to go to places recommended in the blog to following travel magazines directions as they said, “If Graham says a place is worth seeing then it’d never be wrong.”


Sometimes he becomes a guide to provide information on what to do, to eat and where to see in Vietnam for tourists who wish to travel in Vietnam.


Writing and traveling a lot (Graham has been working also as a freelance journalist for The Guardian, Scotland Magazine, Sunday Herald, Time Magazine and so on), he chose Saigon as a place to settle down. “The reason is my wife is working here and Saigon is famed for its delicious dishes,” said Graham.


Graham’s principle is to try everything, even if they are strange foods. Luckily he has never had any problems with food poisoning.


Usually he is a very quiet man but when talking about food Graham can talk for hours without getting bored.


He just found a small restaurant where they serve Bun Mam (noodle mixed with sauces in District 10 run by a woman. He decided to send the dish to the Food Festival 2005 organized by TasteEverything.org, and won the Prize of Great Dish of TasteEverything.


Many Vietnamese people were proud that such a common food from their country was listed in prize awards together with 29 other dishes from all over the world.


Graham said it would be a great thing for Vietnam to use its various kinds of good food to advertise for the country’s tourism.


“It is difficult for Vietnam to compete with Thailand in terms of beautiful beaches and to be compared with Cambodia with all its Wats, but Vietnam has the advantage to competing with other countries in terms of food,” said Graham.


Eating on streets is a special thing of Vietnam especially traditional food, which is very Vietnamese. Using this to make a plan to advertise the tourism here would see an increase in number of tourists coming to the country.


(Source: Tuoi Tre)

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