Belmore, where my parents still live, boasts a multicultural landscape of Greeks, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Koreans and Sudanese. These cultural surroundings always meant that our dinner table was filled with food from all over and I’ve always loved it! Braised lamb shanks, Lebanese bread, olives, kim chi, rice and spring rolls with fish sauce all sat at the same table. I often crave this joy in eating which is why Thanksgiving is so nostalgic for me. It is about bringing a part of yourself to the table with story, gratitude and food - so much food!
The concept for my recipes pays tribute to my Vietnamese roots and Australian upbringing. I remember the first time my mum bought lamb for us to try (very quintessential Australian red meat). My brothers and I couldn’t handle the gaminess of the meat. Being the culinary genius she is, she pottered away in the kitchen and soaked this lamb in familiar flavors - fish sauce, garlic, brown sugar and sesame oil. Now, this lamb dish lives at every family bbq we have!
The baked sweet potatoes are a nod to the classic sweet potato casserole, replacing marshmallows with a salty maple whipped butter and a punch of funk and freshness with my Vietnamese green sauce.
These two dishes are truly a slice of home for me.