About

About

Welcome to my blog! I am a writer, photographer, food/ prop stylist and film maker. You can find recipes, photos, blog posts, films and videos here.

Please follow me on instagram @loveleluu & subscribe here for blog posts. Thank you so much for visiting this page x

Food Styling & Photograhy

My Photography Work

My Book

Supper Club

Supper Club

The supper club is held in my home in London Fields, Hackney. It is like a dinner party in the tradition of a Vietnamese feast with homemade Vietnamese food.

Classes

Classes

Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

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Riding The Carousel

Uyen Luu10 Carousel JamesOJenkinsI have the chef bug. I loved my week at Carousel at the beginning of 2015. Carousel is a restaurant which has a continuous change of the best chefs from all over the world taking residence for a couple of weeks at a time in London’s West End, Marylebone.

When she planted the idea and suggested I do a short stint there, Melissa Hemsley had to endure my backwards and forward eagerness and reluctance. I am not a chef, I kept saying, I don’t know if I can do it! Being a chef is so different from being a home cook! Plus I was in acute distress at the idea of people coming to eat my food and judge it. What if I just muck everything up? What if something happens and everything I have built will fall apart?

Nights of fear and apprehension plagued my sleep.

Feel the fear! Said Melissa. And do it! Do it anyway!

Ok, I said, biting the bullet. I’ll do it.

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Being a chef, (only for a week) was one of the most tiring times of my life, even though I had a couple of chefs helping and a KP and my assistant Jenny Brown (and thanks to Rosie Birkett for 2 nights help too). It was exhausting and laborious. It is work for strong, robust people with stamina and strength of youth and vigour.

At home, I would make things in small batches, at Carousel, I learnt how to make army batches in massive pots and pans that weighed ten fold of densities I am used to. I watched Rebecca crack 50 eggs, she doesn’t mess around, she makes things in mammoth sizes as well as multitask the constantly ignited flaming stove.

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Carousel Presents Uyen Luu

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I’ve never worked in a restaurant before, never mind being a chef in one. But I thought I would follow a bit of my friend Melissa Hemsley‘s way in 2015: “FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANY WAY!” Its about time I stop hiding out in my East London home kitchen. Because of Melissa’s recommendation to Carousel, (who are a permanent residence in Marylebone – they have new chef residence for short periods of time), I decided to face a whole week of cheffing. I am slightly terrified even though I know I am going to really enjoy it.

When I watch Masterchef, I just think, I can never do that and I don’t want to be anything I am not which is “cheffy” cooking via sous vide or with nitrogen and weird gadgets. I just want to cook, the way my mum cooks, the way my grandmother cooked – with fire and water.

 

So here goes:

Chicken Stock Congee with Chopped Chicken, Dill, Sprout Top and Pork Floss

Summer Rolls with King Prawns, Green Mango, Perilla, Cockscomb, Coriander and Mint with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
Seared Tuna on Watercress and French Bean Salad, Butter and Pistachio Fish Sauce Dressing and Crushed Salty Chips with Wasabi Mayo
Pigs Trotter and Lemongrass Noodle Soup with Beef, Lemongrass, Banana Blossom, Morning Glory and Vietnamese Ham
Avocado and Coconut Ice Cream Cake with Pandan Chiffon Cake layers, Lime Curd, Chocolate, Shavings, Avocado Custard, Crushed Meringue and Star Fruit
Please book with Carousel here
Here are some photos of my menu testing – hope you can make it. Do say hi to me in the kitchen xxx
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My Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube Video- Summer Rolls

Watch my video on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube Vietnamese Summer Rolls- Please press the LIKE button on it and leave a comment of what you’d like to see me making next on there too. I would love to do some more filming with Jamie’s FoodTube.

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Thanks so much to Jamie Oliver, whom I met at The Big Feastival, when I cooked there at The Big Feastival Supper Club. He suggested that I get myself on FoodTube and made it all happen.

I filmed this one morning when they had 1.5 hr slot for me in one of Jamie’s filming kitchens at Fifteen, off Old Street. It was so cool to have my own food stylist, Jodene Jordan who arranged all the ingredients and props, making sure I had what I needed. (This is usually my job!)

The crew were so encouraging and guiding me of my lines because of course I kept forgetting what I was on about, what I was even doing and getting tongue tied.

I demonstrate summer rolls all the time at my cooking classes but it was another thing talking to camera. I just have to learn that the camera is another person!

Hopefully, if everyone likes the video, they would have me back on there. Jamie told me that he would really like to upload the film of me and him in my kitchen a few years ago.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here and Vimeo here (where I make more arty stuff)

Pleasure In Every Sense: My Mum’s Bánh Mì

Banh Mi Three Types

I will never forget my grandmother cooking every morning and serving steaming hot noodle soup to passers by and regulars at her open house street food stall. I often get glimpses into her children’s memories (my aunts and uncles) of war, poverty, escapism, love and resilience but most of all, the surrender to good food. She loved my mother, her daughter in law because they had in common the desire and hankering for deliciousness.

In times of need, my mother then opened a little bánh mì stall outside our Saigon house in the early 80s, just before we refuged in England. Today, when she can get hold of these amazing soft, yet crispy and crunchy baguettes, we have them filled with barbecued pork, or Vietnamese sausages or shallot omelette stuffed with coriander, cucumber and pickled carrots and mooli; sprinkled with those dangerously fiery bird eye chillies. Heaven in a bite. Heaven in a length of a baguette. Pleasure in every sense.

You can buy these baguettes and fill them up yourself from The Spence Bakery

161 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UH 020 7249 4927

If you need recipes, they are in my book – My Vietnamese Kitchen

If you wish to order a whole bunch of these, you can email me uyenATuyenluuDOTcom, my mum would love to make them!

How To Make A 3 Course Vietnamese Meal – My Video Recipes For Leisure

Uyen Luu - Supper Club - Leisure Range Cooker

With the hughest thanks to MerciecaLeisure kindly sponsored my beautiful range cooker with a static oven, fan oven, grill, 5 plate hob & plate warmer. I made these videos to show you how easy it is to cook a healthy and wonderfully  delicious 3 course meal for a large party with such a oven. The oven has the space and capacity to do what I do regularly every week and that is to host supper clubs for over 25 people. It works a treat for my cooking classes as well because I can demonstrate more dishes on it at a time as well as have two people cooking on it. I love it! It enables you to do dessert in one oven and something savoury like a roast chicken in the other. Then use the grill to make a side dish! This oven is definitely great for multi-taskers!

After we filmed these, there was a dinner party/ supper club event for press and bloggers. You can read more about it here at:

Cooksister   Kitchen Delights   Rachel Phipps   Secret Scroffer    Pints & Plates

Uyen Luu - Supper Club - Leisure Range Cooker

I hope you enjoy the video recipes, they are very quick and simple yet heavenly on the taste buds. If you like them, please share it with your friends, press the LIKE button.

Please subscribe to my youtube channel or vimeo channel for more videos coming soon!

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At Home, In My Kitchen

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Olive Magazine – Aug 2014 Issue

My kitchen is the central station to everything that I do in life, work and love. Every cook will say its the beating heart, the soul and spirit of the home. My kitchen, “My Vietnamese Kitchen” serves a supper club (or two) every weekend; Vietnamese cooking classes on most Saturdays and during the week it becomes a photographic studio for food photography shoots and the home ec work station of shoots elsewhere. It works every day, all the time.

When I can have it back to it just being mine, I lovingly clean every nook and cranny with the calm, stillness and solitude I sometimes crave so much. The times when I can quietly enjoy making fresh pasta, fresh bread, ragu for the week/ the freezer, a roast dinner or a simple fried egg on toast is heavenly. It is when I can just breathe and feel grateful for the pleasures of such simplicities like being at home, in the kitchen.

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My kitchen had always been upstairs in my “live” unit but it was high time I dug out my credit card and build a new one downstairs in my “work” unit. I just don’t know how I did it before, all those years of climbing those stairs and the kitchen not having unity with the dinning room! It was insane! But I had to cope with it, as I could never afford to build a new kitchen!

But fate changed, with the grandest thanks to Leisure & Beko who sponsored my Leisure Range Cooker; Beko American free standing fridge/ freezer; Beko washing machine & Beko dishwasher.

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