Chef Luke Nguyen returns to the Mekong for SBS

Celebrity chef Luke Nguyen returns to Cambodia and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in SBS’s second series of Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong 2. The cooking and travel series will return on Thursday 25 October at 8pm on SBS1.

The announcement:

Celebrated chef, Luke Nguyen completes his culinary journey across the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia in his latest series. Over ten half hour episodes, Luke ventures deeper into the Mekong region visiting previously unexplored communities and food cultures in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Beginning in Laos’ very laid back capital city, Vientiane, Luke seeks out local foodie haunts and tries his hand at local delicacies such as Duck’s blood salad. Heading north to the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Luke gets drenched during New Year celebrations, teams up with a third generation watercress farmer, and seeks out the town’s bounty of fresh produce markets and cottage industries. Travelling south along the Mekong River, Luke reaches the 4000 Islands where he eats a red ant salad dish that bites back and he creates local fish delicacies unlike any other.

Crossing the Mekong River into Cambodia, Luke explores the ancient ruins and cuisines of Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. For a quick snack, on the road to the country’s capital, he hunts down live tarantulas with the local ‘spider whisperer’. Reaching the capital, Phnom Penh, Luke harvests morning glory on the outskirts of the city, and cooks with some of Cambodia’s most respected chefs. Hitting the coast, Luke is spoiled for choice with Kep’s fresh sea crab and Kampot’s world famous pepper. Getting off the beaten track, Luke cooks Coca-Cola chicken, a local favourite, in a mountain cave alongside an animist priest named ‘White Dragon’.

Luke finishes the series in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to further explore the country of his heritage. He tests his mettle, tasting local specialities such as fruit bat congee and live coconut worms. Luke also cooks a meal with his parents aboard a houseboat and learns about their journey from Vietnam to Australia as refugees. Luke’s journey through the Greater Mekong region concludes where the Mekong River empties into the South China Sea.

Some of the regions explored in this fascinating series have rarely seen television cameras before, and Luke endeavours to portray a sense of everyday life by showcasing the incredible foods on offer.

“During this incredible journey, I met many special people and discovered many amazing locations in the lands of my ancestors. I really came to realise that the mighty Mekong River is more than just a source of food – it is a way of life. I learnt a great deal about the knowledge and sheer reliance the local people have on the river itself, and of course their passion and expertise with food. I am pleased I can now share this journey with the SBS audience.” said Luke Nguyen.

Luke’s passion for food and exploring new cultures is as infectious as ever, and will be sure to inspire any budding home cook or foodie-traveller to Asia.

Source: SBS press release



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