Last week I spent several glorious days being introduced to Vancouver, British Columbia. It's an extremely exciting city filled with terrific food and friendly people. My friend Nathan Fong, a food writer, stylist, and radio and TV-show host, took me on a tour of his hometown.
The first stop was Vancouver's Chinatown, which is filled with sweet old buildings. We poked around a Vietnamese-Chinese grocery store with one of Nathan's best friends -- Don Genova, a food journalist and host of Food For Thought, a weekly radio program that airs on CBC Radio One in Vancouver (690AM).
Don wanted an introduction to the essential ingredients for Vietnamese cooking. We walked up and down each aisle in the market for a good 45 minutes. The market has a banh mi sandwich counter at the back and whipped up 3 fresh ones for us to sustain ourselves. Talking about food makes you hungry!
Don recorded our conversation for a radio documentary, which he recently aired this week. It's always strange to listen to yourself on the radio (stranger yet to watch yourself on TV) , but Don did an excellent job of editing. I tend to talk a lot when it comes to Vietnamese food and cooking.
To check my claim that Vietnamese food is easy to make at home, he went home and prepared two easy recipes from my book, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen -- the cucumber and shrimp salad (goi dua chuot) and grilled chicken (ga nuong) -- and deemed them delicious and fantastically simple.
To listen to my talk with Don and to obtain the recipes he tested, visit his website Food For Thought.