Luke Nguyen was born in 1978 in Thailand, shortly after his parents and elder siblings fled Vietnam as boat people. After spending a year in a Thai refugee camp, his family eventually settled in Sydney. Luke has gone on to become the chef and co-owner of the award-winning Sydney Vietnamese restaurant, Red Lantern. Luke’s TV work also includes Food Safari, Heat in the Kitchen and Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam. In 2009, he founded the Little Lantern Foundation, which gives disadvantaged youths in Vietnam an opportunity to undertake a hospitality training program. In his latest book, The Songs of Sa Pa: Cooking Around Vietnam, Luke returns to his roots, travelling on a personal and culinary tour through Vietnam. He visits his family and friends, and is invited into the homes of local Vietnamese food experts and cooks, to learn more about one of the richest, most diverse cuisines in the world. Apart from the heartwarming story, the book contains more than 100 regional and family recipes and vibrant, stunning photographs bursting with colour and texture, capturing the beauty of Vietnam, her people and their deep connection to food.

The Songs of Sa Pa is a vibrant, visual essay of Luke’s journey, and a definite choice for anyone interested in southeast Asian cuisine. Also see his first book Secrets of the Red Lantern.

Interested in buying this book? visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, they will be able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for.

Wickedfood Cooking School, Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.