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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Friends & Recipe Testing For Book

Crispy pork belly with vermicelli

Last Autumn, I received a publishing deal with Ryland Peters & Small to produce a Vietnamese recipe cook book. I was really happy. Even more so than I had imagine being. I have been writing since I was seven years old, moving my mother and her friends to tears. They were mainly letters to my father, every day I would look to the sky and see aeroplanes, recites my mother, but it has been two months and you have not returned…

I couldn’t believe that I had actually gotten a book deal because sometimes you think things are just impossible especially when these things have been cooked up in dreams from childhood. I had always had a big love for beautiful smelling books and I wanted to have one myself! I got that feeling people talked about, when an author is published for the first time. That awesome awesome feeling. I shook so hard with joy.  I celebrated with my agent. I rode my bicycle very drunk with the biggest fattest smile on my face in the rain!

Crispy chicken wings with sweet chilli fish sauce

My dream had come true and it had been staring me in the face for the past few months. I went to Vietnam to do more research and to take photographs. We have shot and produced a BLAD (book layout and design) for the Book Fair in April. The book will contain 50 recipes written and tested, 60 styled (by me) recipe photographs by Clare Winfield; 40 travel photographs by me.

I have been cooking over 50 dishes in the last couple of months, maybe three times then asking a friend to follow my recipe to see if it works. They have been amazing in helping me adjust the flavour as well as instructions.

Udon noodle soup with dill fish cakes

It has been very interesting to see how people follow recipes. Some follow every detail and some find it very difficult to even when given the exact recipe someone else had accomplished with ease. Some people can’t believe how little cooking time is required with Vietnamese cuisine and cook further or do not understand that everything is in the prep.

It is so easy for people to confuse teaspoons (tsp) with tablespoons (tbs); a squeeze of lime depends on how juicy the lime is, a pinch of salt depends on how your pinch is; a splash of wine depends on what you regard as a splash and so on.

Therefore, I have been faced with different scenarios. The same recipe I have created can be produced in almost every way possible depending on whose cooking, their mood, how many distractions, how seriously they take the task, how well they know about oriental cooking, how fast or slow they are, how competent they are in the kitchen, how precise, if they bother to measure with scales and measuring jugs..

sea bass congee

What I have noticed is that most people never taste when cooking when following a recipe (only afterwards when its done) and that there is this a blind trust in the author’s recipe and what will be will be with the fate of the dish. Which is why it is so important for me to test the dishes several times with different friends.

I am lucky to have so many good friends who are offering their time and dedication to my cause, to my book. I’ve had some fabulous evenings as everything gets eaten in the end over long conversations and laughter.

I have noticed that tasty food always makes people so happy that they give me so much back in friendship, love and respect. Sometimes, a group of my friends will gather from all over London to help me out and then to even comfort me on rainy days. Then I find out that in fact, they didn’t really come for the food but to just be there for me. I thank everyone whose helped me with all my heart.

I am finishing up recipe writing. Next will be some prose and then 3 weeks of photography – my favourite bit.

The book will be out in September 2013.

Ca phe creme caramel

NB: These are not photos of the book, but tested recipes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14575278721135723556 Christian Halfmann

    Very good to hear this about your book deal and all the great support you are having. For sure everything will work out just excellent.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16662875905365870280 Kavey

    I came for both reasons and it made my heart happy to be there. x

  • http://rosalilium.com/ Elizabeth @ Rosalilium

    That is wonderful news. Congratulations on the book deal and cannot wait to see it in September!
    x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15511490633610442390 tori

    Ryland Peters and Small obviously has terrific taste ;) So excited to see the finished product (and would be lovely to catch up soon!) xx

  • http://www.vi-vian.com/ vi vian

    congratulations! that was quicker than I thought. Looking forward to it being published.

  • http://www.hungryinlondon.com/ Ute @hungryinlondon

    Lovely! I suffer from a different disease, tasting too much. When I sit down for dinner, I’m not hungry anymore…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06696143558187589077 Paula/Tim

    really exciting news – can’t wait for it to come out

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00473843674999627197 Donna

    I am sooooo excited for your book. It was at your house that our love of pho was reignited, where spring rolls became demystified… I cannot wait to have it as a constant companion in my kitchen!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01285211840621002331 Paul Hart

    Really looking forwards to reading the book! Congrats again x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12123107059051723799 Rebecca Bickerton

    Oh my goodness the food looks delicious will definitely be checking out your lovely blog from now on. And of course congratulations on the book!

    http://articulatelondon.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10191120702801331417 EasyKoreanFood

    Hello! I recently just started a youtube Korean food channel, EasyKoreanFood, where you can learn how to make fast & easy Korean food! It would mean the world to me if you could check it out because I’m just starting out! Thanks!

  • http://www.rickerrestaurants.com/ Clinton Curtis

    I’ve ordered an Asian or Oriental cuisine in a restaurant in London. After eating the food that I’ve ordered, I really want to cook something like that for my family.