Luke NguyenSydney, Australia
Luke Nguyen is a celebrated chef, restaurateur, television presenter, author, and gastronomic traveler. His relaxed and easygoing nature combined with his deep knowledge and appreciation for Vietnamese cuisine has made him one of the most beloved and recognizable faces in Australia.
Whether cooking on a humble curbside floor in a Ho Chi Minh backstreet, running his awarded Sydney & Brisbane restaurants or presenting a cooking show to millions of people around the world, Luke’s philosophy is the same, to honour his Asian heritage by bringing people closer together with food.
Luke’s success was born not only from talent but determination and hard work. Born in a Thai refugee camp after his parent escaped their homeland in Vietnam in the 1970’s, his family migrated to Sydney where they opened a restaurant in Cabramatta selling pho (beef noodle soup). Expected to contribute even though he was just 4 years old – Luke cleaned tables and entertained the customers. Literally growing up in the restaurant he learnt the fundamentals of Vietnamese cooking from his Mother and Father
With such a work ethic instilled in him it’s not surprising that in 2002 – Luke opened his first restaurant when he was only 23. Partnering with his sister and brother-in-law ‘The Red Lantern’ has won ‘Best Asian Restaurant in Sydney’ (Restaurant and Catering Awards), a record six times. It has also been voted ‘The Top 10 of Sydney’s Most Environmentally Sustainable Restaurants’ (Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide), and acclaimed as ‘Australia’s Favourite Restaurant’ in 2012 (I Love Food Awards).
Finding inspiration in cooking, travel, and culture made hosting culinary adventure shows a natural fit for Luke. As a presenter of multiple SBS shows: LN’s Greater Mekong, LN’S Vietnam, LN’s France, LN’S United Kingdom and LN’s Street Food Asia – Luke has gained huge popularity with his programs being aired in more than 150 countries.
Visiting street vendors, bustling markets, and local family kitchens – Luke is often seen cooking fragrant, vibrant dishes on the side of a road. His infectious enthusiasm combined with his complete lack of pretention earnt him the honour of being inducted into the ‘Sydney Morning Herald Food Hall of Fame’.
Luke has also been a host and judge on the MasterChef Vietnam Series, a guest chef on MasterChef Australia, appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape, and Destination Flavour. He also featured on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ on SBS.
Luke is also a best-selling, award-winning author. His first book written with his sister and brother in law– ‘Secrets of the Red Lantern’ was part recipe book, part moving family memoir.
He has since gone on to publish:
- The Songs of Sapa
- Indochine (winner of the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2011)
- The Food of Vietnam
- Luke’s Food of France
- From China to Vietnam – A Food Journey Along the Mekong River
- Street Food Asia
Luke Nguyen is an Ambassador for award winning travel group APT, the Food Ambassador for ETIHAD Airways. He was announced last year as one of the famous faces of the current Holden campaign and has opened the ‘Grain’ cooking school in Ho Chi Minh.
His love of street food was the inspiration behind venues ‘The Fat Noodle’ in Sydney’s Star Hotel and Brisbane’s Treasury. Next on the horizon is ‘Moi Moi’ opening in Hong Kong Feb 2017 and will be followed by 2 new restaurants in Vietnam later in the year.
Luke and his wife Lynne Nguyen became parents to twin boys in 2015 and live between their homes in Sydney, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
See Luke Nguyen on stage at the Good Food Theatre, presented by ILVE at the Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney.