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Culinary expert proposes opening cuisine academy to promote Vietnam tourism

Vietnam should set up a national culinary academy to promote its unique cuisine more vigorously, a cooking expert proposed Tuesday.

Chefs cook their entry dishes in the qualifying round of the 2014 Golden Spoon Awards in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam.
Chefs cook their entry dishes in the qualifying round of the 2014 Golden Spoon Awards in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam.

“Cities and provinces across Vietnam have diverse cuisine cultures with many delicacies, but we have not taken advantage of them to boost tourism,” culinary expert Bui Thi Suong said at a conference on the authentic cuisine of the southeastern region in Binh Duong Province.

Suong said the superb and wonderful dishes in regions countrywide should be treated as tourism products to lure more tourist arrivals to those localities.

Vietnam thus needs to set up a national culinary academy to do so, the culinary expert, who is deputy chairwoman of the Saigon Professional Chefs’ Guild, added.

Suong also expressed her concern that some of the regional specialties are now unknown even by people living in those regions.

For instance, canh sung (sour soup cooked with fish and water lilies) used to be a specialty in the coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, but tourists will be now unable to find the dish.

“Even the new immigrants to Vung Tau City do not know what it is,” she lamented.

The conference was hosted by the organizers of the 2014 Golden Spoon Awards, a culinary competition.

The countrywide cooking contest was launched by Binh Duong-based porcelain maker Minh Long 1 and the Business Studies & Assistance Center to seek and honor traditional dishes that represent the cultural specificity of each region throughout Vietnam.

The contest kicked off its qualifying rounds on May 21, and ten finalists will compete for the VND1 billion (US$47,170) prize and the trophy in the final round in Binh Duong on December 10.