On February 13, 2020, Hue-Chan Karels, Chef-Owner of Open Kitchen, was a guest presenter that launched SITE Santa Fe’s 2020 Digest This! programs focusing on displacement, immigration, and the global refugee crisis. Hue-Chan shared stories of her family’s last days in Vietnam before Saigon fell to communist control on April 30, 1975, their life as refugees in the U.S., and the power of food in their family’s transition – as with the millions of other Vietnamese refugees – to a new and foreign life. For the event, Hue-Chan prepared “Bánh Cuốn”– Vietnamese Steamed Rice Crêpes filled with Ground Pork and Shiitake Mushroom, served Nước Chấm, Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, and Bean Sprouts and Fresh Herbs. This dish is significant to her as this was the last dish her family feasted on as we departed Vietnam on April 23, 1975 – a week before Saigon fell. For more details on Hue-Chan’s presentation, please read further here.

Hue-Chan Karels on the fall of saigon and the cultural importance of food.