Keyword suggestions: Minh Long Contest Golden Spoon Awards

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat wins second prize

Saturday, 07/25/2015 12:57
Chefs: Le Van Pham (captain), Khoa Tan Dang Nguyen, Khuong Xuan Nguyen.
Team number 66: Ana Mandara Villas Dalat from Dalat City, Lam Dong province

The contestant chefs from Ana Mandara Villas Dalat brought to the contest a menu of typical highland ingredients, such as sturgeon fish caviar rolled with vegetables, sturgeon rolled with vegetables, raw sturgeon, chicken rolled with Dalat vegetables and chicken thighs stuffed with sticky rice.

As someone who loves studying new things, Chef Le Van Pham (27 years old) attended the Golden Spoon contest for the first time for the experiences and learning new techniques from other chefs around the country. He read the book “Golden Spoon and Elite Vietnamese Cuisine” carefully so as to learn as much as possible from the helpful content intended especially for young chefs.

Chef Le Van Nguyen started cooking when he was 17 years old; the same time he moved from Ha Tinh to Dalat to live with his uncle. A head chef, his uncle’s career has inspired Chef Le’s cooking. After he followed his uncle to work and study he was sent to the Maldives to study in participation with an employee training program from Ana Mandara Villas Dalat..

The program lasted three years and it helped Le learn about European cuisine, which became his area of dedication from the beginning. He said, “Dalat was discovered by French people. French culture in the architecture still remains strong in its values for many years. If Vietnamese dishes are prepared in more French style, then it will impress diners.”

Coming to the Golden Spoon contest, Chef Le Van Pham and his colleagues from Ana Mandara Villas Dalat brought typical ingredients from the Highlands and created a beautiful menu, specially featuring sturgeon. Each dish was highlighted by the use of one special spice, such as a sauce made of bee hive mushroom to accompany the chicken. This mushroom grows often in the countryside of Dalat city. It is collected by the local ethnic minority people, processed, then sold to restaurants. They are very expensive (about VND 2 million per kilogram), but gives off a very good fragrance. When used to make sauce for fish or meat its smell is very telling. The mushroom is also used as garnish.

Cuisine artisan and Specialist Judge Suong Thi Bui commented that the chefs brought to the contest the most secret menu since it lacked detail, and was written to vague. It is a lesson the team will remember. However she highly appreciated their efforts in exploring and processing dishes with new ingredients and spices. They took the opportunity to create something new and research creatively.

Outlet: Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Address: Le Lai street , ward 5, Lam Dong province, Da Lat City.

Tel: +84 (63) 3555 88+84 (63) 3555 888 Fax: +84 (63) 3555 666



Located on the slopes at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level and surrounded by untouched beautiful pine forests, Ana Mandara Villas Dalat inherited the charming scenery of nature and ancient beauty of the hundred year-old villas built in French architecture.

The 17 old villas are nestled along paved and gentle winding roads and green gardens. The resort is a witness of history from the 1920’s and 1930’s. When Dalat was just colonized, these villas were built on the face of windswept hillsides to welcome rich families or French officers.

While staying or just dining at Ana Mandara, guests enjoy a wonderful dining experience in the heart of Dalat: French banquets at the charming Le Petit Dalat restaurant; cozy dinners in the room; BBQ under the magnificent stars; or near the poolside bar surrounded by lush pine forests. The fresh ingredients used are harvested right from Ana Mandara garden and cool, sweet juice is squeezed from the fruit of the region. In addition, Ana Mandara serves homemade bread and yogurt as well as many other dishes done by their own chefs.

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