Cooking is a fun joint activity for us. Oanh’s random cravings for far-flung delicacies encountered or imagined drive us to develop many of the dishes featured on this site. Her skills at mixing flavors on the counter top and in her mind then guide us on to other uncharted but fruitful territories. Dang’s science and DIY predilections enable us to set up systematic experiments and equipment to explore and optimize our recipes.
Our goal of making “Vietnamese food like you’ve always/never had” has been with us for almost as long as we’ve known each other. On our first trip abroad together, a lunch at Tân Định in Paris blew our minds when we were served undeniably Vietnamese dishes made with local French ingredients. The meal made us realize that a key to culinary tradition lies beyond specific assembly of parts. If we could think deeply about how our forebears conceptualized food, and used those principles to explore our world, we could produce dishes that honored both our heritage and our adopted community.
We were further inspired by our amazing experience at Ryugin. Chef Seiji Yamamoto’s skillful execution of his vision “to pursue possibilities of Japanese cuisine” made us realize that it’s entirely possible to embrace radically new techniques and ingredients while still maintaining the unique identity of a cuisine. That experience encouraged us to expand the scope of our explorations and to strive always for new approaches to our beloved dishes.
All that said, we always go back to traditional recipes for insight and inspiration. It was after all those recipes, made by our families, that gained us our love of food in the first place. We make it a point, before putting our own spin on any traditional dish, to work and work at it until we could make a delicious version of the traditional recipe. We find that going through that process immerses us in the tradition of the dish, allowing deeper understanding and guiding us to more precise experiments. Our goal of course is to produce something new that preserves the nuances and magic of the original that so inspired us.
To contact either of us please send an email to Oanh or Dang @rauom.com (1 name only, no spaces). Thanks!