A cooking demonstration at University of California Office of the President in Oakland, CA February 2020 to celebrate Chinese New Year. I demonstrated on how to make Vietnamese Spring rolls. It was on live video and
Growing up in Vietnam, I never really learned how to cook. Most Vietnamese middle-class families had maids and drivers around the clock and as my family was considered middle-class, we were no different. As a kid, my focus was just study, study, and study. I was, however, encouraged by my businesswoman mom and my aunt to watch the cook prepare the meals because they recognized the importance of this life skill. I have to admit that I used to hate it because I wanted to dip my hand in there – but no! “Hanh, just watch!” It’s been a while since those days…as I’ve grown up, I’ve discovered the joy of cooking, especially for my family and friends. I am passionate about food; I love to eat and explore new dishes. It truly warms my heart to have friends over and cook for them, especially those who love Vietnamese food.
Cooking with Hanh was initiated when my husband Jim and I decided to host a charity event to support the California Camp & Butte fires in 2018. We just simply wanted to do something to help the community. Our charity event consisted of a silent auction of my cooking classes, a wine tasting event, and beautiful unique wooden tables handcrafted by Jim. We raised ~ $8,000. We felt good! Really good! Afterwards, I was also invited by friends who knew of my cooking skills to give cooking classes at various Asian events in the Bay Area. Cooking is a joyful and relaxing experience for me. The feeling I have when people discover a new favorite dish or learn to make a new dish is indescribable. Sharing the recipes and the experience with people who have the same interest is so fulfilling and satisfying. I must confess that the hardest part for me is writing down some of my recipes – a little bit of this, a little bit of that, doesn’t work well when teaching classes (smile).