Updates from the Kitchen​

History of Vietnamese cuisine, meal delivery, Santa Fe, Open Kitchen event planning and catering and prepared meal delivery, food delivery, buy local

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through the
Cooked + Delivered menus of Guest Chef Rocky Durham

Chef Rocky Durham returns for a second week as Guest Chef!

Chef Rocky is celebrating Provençal cuisine on August 17. He returns to Cooked + Delivered for the week of August 24 with his take on Vietnamese cuisine, which means you have another opportunity to enjoy a fresh meal made with local ingredients by this world-class chef. 

The flavors and style of cooking you see in Provence, France match up well with those found in Vietnam. Both cultures are admired for not merely using fresh, seasonal ingredients, but for making the flavor, texture, and colors of the vegetables and aromatic herbs the focal point in every dish.

You can understand a lot about the history of Vietnam through their food. And, Rocky’s back-to-back menus highlight the strong connection between the French and Vietnamese cultures. He may hint at specific moments in history, such as with the Vichyssoise galette pointing to Napoleon III initiating a nearly 70-year colonization. And, this week’s Consomme Phở shows us how the people of Vietnam incorporated French and Chinese culinary techniques while creating a dish that is identified around the world as distinctly theirs – a true testament to the resilient and beautiful spirit of Vietnam.

This week, as we share each dish, we will also share information about my homeland and the history of Vietnamese cuisine. I hope you enjoy reading about this menu as much as you will enjoy tasting it.

Ăn ngon miệng nhé!

Updates from the Kitchen - Chef Hue Chan Karelsand Open Kitchen blog and updates

You can order directly using links below or view the August 24 Cooked + Delivered menu here.

Get your Cooked + Delivered order submitted by Thursday, August 20 at 6pm.

“Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you who you are.”

– Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French gastronome

Chef Rocky has traveled the world, learning and cooking on five continents. His worldly kitchen adventures brought him to Vietnam, where he dined at Indochine, a restaurant in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi (Hà Nội) where Chef Hue-Chan Karels has also dined. His travels expanded his knowledge base immensely and when he returned to Santa Fe, he came with a more refined palate and an arsenal of techniques.

Consomme Phở Served with Roasted Radishes, Blackened Onion, Pickled Chiles & Salted Cabbage

Rich, house-made clarified, aromatic chicken stock is infused with lime leaves. Enjoyed with different vegetable garnishes – each one designed to bring a different flavor and texture to this French-Vietnamese fusion dish.

Consommé and the soup base for Phở are much more than simple stocks. They can take a day or more to make. An infusion of herbs gives them complex flavor profiles.

Consommé originated 700 years ago. Its refinement mirrors the birth of elegant European culture during the Renaissance. While Phở originated much later, in the late 1800s, its three components tell a 2,000 year history. Rice noodles and the use of chopsticks speak to 1,000 years of Chinese rule. The broth tells about French colonization in the late 1800s. And, a wide variety of aromatic herbs infused into the broth give Phở its unique taste and calls up the land where those herbs were grown.

Consommé and the soup base for Phở are much more than simple stocks. They can take a day or more to make. An infusion of herbs gives them complex flavor profiles.

Consommé originated 700 years ago. Its refinement mirrors the birth of elegant European culture during the Renaissance. While Phở originated much later, in the late 1800s, its three components tell a 2,000 year history. Rice noodles and the use of chopsticks speak to 1,000 years of Chinese rule. The broth tells about French colonization in the late 1800s. And, a wide variety of aromatic herbs infused into the broth give Phở its unique taste and calls up the land where those herbs were grown.

Exotic Mushroom Rillettes Served with Vegetable Crudite, Wonton Crackers & Spicy Mustard

Rustic pate of wild and cultivated mushrooms, caramelized shallots, garlic, thyme and lemongrass are served with crunchy vegetables and crispy wonton chips for dipping.

The blending of cultures extends beyond cuisine. When the Vietnamese abandoned Chinese as their written language, they adopted the alphabet created by a French Jesuit missionary of Portuguese descent, Alexandre de Rhodes. He was the first Frenchman to arrive in Vietnam. After studying the Vietnamese language for several years and using the previous work of Portuguese missionaries as starting point, he created dchữ Quốc ngữ, the Latin script for Vietnamese, with flourishes reminiscent of those seen in French and Portuguese.

The blending of cultures extends beyond cuisine. When the Vietnamese abandoned Chinese as their written language, they adopted the alphabet created by a French Jesuit missionary of Portuguese descent, Alexandre de Rhodes. He was the first Frenchman to arrive in Vietnam. After studying the Vietnamese language for several years and using the previous work of Portuguese missionaries as starting point, he created dchữ Quốc ngữ, the Latin script for Vietnamese, with flourishes reminiscent of those seen in French and Portuguese.

Orange Glazed Pulled Pork Confit in Scallion-Herb Crepes​ Served with Haricot Vert with Ginger & Garlic Demi Glace & Red Chile Almonds ​

Chef Rocky’s take on moo shu pork: tender, rich pork shoulder with an orange glaze and garnishes that you wrap up in savory French pancakes with a side of green beans.

The number 5 is very significant in Vietnamese cuisine. There are five colors, five flavors, and five nutrients, with each corresponding to five body organs, five elements, and five senses. They all balance and enhance one another. The Vietnamese also adopted the Chinese philosophy of yin-yang and balancing the “hot” and “cool” properties of ingredients. Duck is cool and prepared with warm ingredients, like ginger. Spicy is hot and most often balanced with the cool sour. While it may seem that ingredients in a Vietnamese dish are just thrown together, the tasting of it belies a lot of thought and intention.

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Chef Hue-Chan Karels
Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Chef Hue-Chan Karels

The number 5 is very significant in Vietnamese cuisine. There are five colors, five flavors, and five nutrients, with each corresponding to five body organs, five elements, and five senses. They all balance and enhance one another. The Vietnamese also adopted the Chinese philosophy of yin-yang and balancing the “hot” and “cool” properties of ingredients. Duck is cool and prepared with warm ingredients, like ginger. Spicy is hot and most often balanced with the cool sour. While it may seem that ingredients in a Vietnamese dish are just thrown together, the tasting of it belies a lot of thought and intention.

Orange Glazed Pulled Chicken Confit in Scallion-Herb Crepes​ Served with Haricot Vert with Ginger & Garlic Demi Glace & Red Chile Almonds ​
Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Peter Hammer from Unsplash

Vietnam has three regions, each with their own distinct cuisines. The northern region shares a border with China so their cuisine includes a lot of stir fries, soups, and stews. It’s mountainous, which makes agriculture more difficult and so you find fewer herbs and they almost never make spicy dishes. Central Vietnam features freshwater fish and seafood. Their dishes are the spiciest and often colorful and decorative. The southern region uses lots of fruits, vegetables and seafood and their dishes tend to be sweeter because their use of coconut water and coconut milk.

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Peter Hammer from Unsplash

Vietnam has three regions, each with their own distinct cuisines. The northern region shares a border with China so their cuisine includes a lot of stir fries, soups, and stews. It’s mountainous, which makes agriculture more difficult and so you find fewer herbs and they almost never make spicy dishes. Central Vietnam features freshwater fish and seafood. Their dishes are the spiciest and often colorful and decorative. The southern region uses lots of fruits, vegetables and seafood and their dishes tend to be sweeter because their use of coconut water and coconut milk.

Orange Glazed Sweet Potato Confit in Scallion-Herb Crepes​ Served with Haricot Vert with Ginger & Garlic Demi Glace & Red Chile Almonds ​

Chef Rocky’s take on a vegetarian mu shu: orange glazed sweet potato and garnishes that you wrap up in savory French pancakes with a side of green beans.

Vietnam is home to astonishing range of habitats, from rain forests and dry forests to mangroves and coral reefs, and is home to an unusually rich array of plants and animals. Vietnam ranks 16th out of 25 countries which have the richest biodiversity in the world. On the mainland, there are almost 16,000 species of flora and 10% among them are found only in Vietnam (endemic species.) There are more than 100 endemic species of birds and 78 endemic species of mammals.

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Elettra Stefani from Unsplash
Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery Photo by Elettra Stefani from Unsplash

Vietnam is home to astonishing range of habitats, from rain forests and dry forests to mangroves and coral reefs, and is home to an unusually rich array of plants and animals. Vietnam ranks 16th out of 25 countries which have the richest biodiversity in the world. On the mainland, there are almost 16,000 species of flora and 10% among them are found only in Vietnam (endemic species.) There are more than 100 endemic species of birds and 78 endemic species of mammals.

Ca Kho (Caramelized Fish) En Papillote with Sweet Fish Glaze​ Served with Rice Noodles, Aromatic Vegetables & Sesame Tuile​

Inspired by the food of Hội An, Vietnam. An entire meal baked in a bag! All the flavors of the caramelized fish and vegetables combine to produce an unforgettable flavor experience!

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery

Hội An was called Faifo by westerners, a bastardization of Hội An phố (the town of Hội An). Hội An means “peaceful meeting place” and it has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In 1999, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the blend of local and foreign architecture has been so well preserved. Besides incorporating 17th century Japanese architecture, the Vietnamese adopted the beautiful Japanese lantern as a symbol of good luck and it became ingrained in Vietnamese culture. Hội An is famed for the lantern festivals celebrating the Full Moon as well as for being a “foodie” town, with an unending variety of specialized street food merchants who all sell one or two amazing dishes.

Learn the history of Vietnamese cuisine through Chef Rocky's menus for Cooked and Delivered for Open Kitchen Santa Fe weekly meal delivery

Hội An was called Faifo by westerners, a bastardization of Hội An phố (the town of Hội An). Hội An means “peaceful meeting place” and it has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In 1999, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the blend of local and foreign architecture has been so well preserved. Besides incorporating 17th century Japanese architecture, the Vietnamese adopted the beautiful Japanese lantern as a symbol of good luck and it became ingrained in Vietnamese culture. Hội An is famed for the lantern festivals celebrating the Full Moon as well as for being a “foodie” town, with an unending variety of specialized street food merchants who all sell one or two amazing dishes.

Quality & Safety are our priorities!
Open Kitchen events in Santa Fe gives you food that is hand-made with love using fresh ingredients
Open Kitchen in Santa Fe uses local organic and seasonal ingredients
Open Kitchen events in Santa Fe maintains a strict high standard for food safety