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Vietnamese chef cooking traditional Japanese dishes wins gold badge

February 20, 2021 | 14:04

Nguyen Ba Phuoc, a Hanoi-based chef has passed a competition recognizing and ranking the cooking proficiency of traditional Japanese dishes, making him become the ninth person in the world to receive the gold badge.

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The competition, co-organized by the Japanese Culinary Academy and the Japanese Government aims to recognize and rank the cooking proficiency of traditional Japanese dishes for foreign chefs.

A desirable title

Nguyen Ba Phuoc, 29 years old, comes from Son Tay, Hanoi. In 2021, Phuoc graduated from the culinary department of the College of Commerce - Tourism and obtained a chef's degree in Vietnam. In 2016, Phuoc gained a full scholarship to the Hokuto Bunka Culinary Academy. In 2017, he was selected as one of the 10 typical citizens of Muroran city for his efforts in pursuing traditional Japanese cuisine and promoting Vietnamese cuisine in this city, Thanh Nien reported.

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Nguyen Ba Phuoc has passed a competition recognizing and ranking the cooking proficiency of traditional Japanese dishes, making him become the ninth person in the world to receive the gold badge. Photo courtesy of Phuoc

After 2 years of studying, Phuoc graduated and obtained a Japanese national-level chef degree. Over the years, Phuoc has achieved a lot of achievements such as the certificate of merit from the Chairman of the Hokkaidou Chef Association for his efforts in pursuing traditional Japanese cuisine; the honorary badge for being an active member of the Hokkaidou Traditional Japanese Culinary Research Association. Phuoc was also invited to NHK World-Japan Vietnamese to share his passion for cuisine.

In 2020, Phuoc received a certificate of merit from the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vietnam to Japan for his dedication to the Vietnamese community in Hokkaidou and became a coordinator in the Traditional Japanese Cuisine Research Association.

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Ba Phuoc is processing food. Photo: NP

After many years of pursuing the passion for traditional Japanese food, Phuoc has recently really "shined" when he has passed an exam recognizing and ranking the cooking proficiency of traditional Japanese dishes in Kyoto, making him become the ninth person in the world and the first person in Southeast Asia to receive the gold badge.

"For chefs pursuing traditional Japanese cuisine, this is the noblest and most desirable title from the government and the Japanese Chefs Association", said Ba Phuoc.

Wishing to open a Japanese restaurant in Vietnam

According to Phuoc, in order to gain the gold badge, participants must have a national chef degree issued by the Japanese government and have at least two years working in a traditional Japanese restaurant from the date of obtaining the degree. In the competition, I cooked Shoukado bento and Suimono soup for 2 people within 3 hours.

Vietnamese chef cooking traditional Japanese dishes wins gold badge
An eye-catching Japanese dish made by Phuoc. Photo courtesy of Phuoc.

Talking about the “destiny” for cuisine, Phuoc said he was taught to cook by his father since he was in grade 3. And a few years later, he was able to cook many dishes by himself. He then chose to study the cuisine major at university and has attached to the chef occupation to date.

Vietnamese chef cooking traditional Japanese dishes wins gold badge
Photo courtesy of Phuoc.

Currently, Phuoc is doing the dual job of being a chef at a Sushi restaurant in Tokyo and a special advisor for the Banh Mi Xin Chao restaurant. Phuoc said he would continue to study in-depth traditional Japanese cuisine, at the same time want to connect Vietnamese chefs in Japan to establish the Vietnamese Chef Association, helping to introduce Vietnamese dishes to Japanese people and support Vietnamese young people in Japan to look for cuisine scholarship.

“I plan to come back to Vietnam this year. In the time to come, I want to bring traditional Japanese cuisine closer to Vietnamese, share my experiences with young chefs. Besides, I have plan to open my own high-class traditional Japanese restaurant”, said Phuoc.

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