TUNG Group Unveils “Lên Men: Umami Unleashed“ Project to Elevate Vietnamese Cuisine

5:00:55 PM | 7/8/2024

TUNG Group embarks on a groundbreaking journey with the 'Lên Men: Umami Unleashed' (Fermentation) project, marking a pivotal moment in Vietnam's culinary narrative. This initiative delves into traditional cooking techniques across Hanoi and the Northwest mountainous regions, led by culinary visionary Hoang Tung, fermentation expert Jason Ignacio White, and Vietnamese fermentation pioneer Daniel Hoai Tien. 'Lên Men: Umami Unleashed' celebrates fermented foods amidst global acclaim and aims to enrich fine dining with indigenous flavors while advancing food security.

"The 'Lên Men: Umami Unleashed' project is our testament to meticulously researching and developing Vietnam's time-honored culinary arts," shared Chef Hoang Tung of TUNG Group (T.U.N.G dining and Å by TUNG). "We are venturing into the distinct local gastronomies of Hanoi and the Northwest Mountains, focusing on traditional fermented foods and beverages. We aspire to innovate and refine recipes, perfect cooking techniques, and develop effective preservation methods, all to elevate the sophistication of the fine dining experience."

"Collaborating with Mr. Jason White, former Fermentation Director at NOMA, and Mr. Daniel Hoai Tien, founder and CEO of Song Cai Distillery, marks a significant milestone for TUNG Group," continued Chef Tung. "This partnership underscores our commitment to pushing culinary boundaries, honoring Vietnam's rich culinary heritage, and embodying a spirit of innovation to elevate the dining experience for our community."

To support and inspire the next generation of chefs, an exchange session will be conducted for KOTO trainees, allowing them to engage with and learn from TUNG Group’s seasoned chefs and experts. KOTO, which stands for Know One, Teach One, was founded by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham in 1999 and has empowered at-risk and disadvantaged youth to break the poverty cycle through education and skill development. This initiative will give trainees valuable insights into traditional cooking methods, innovative uses of local ingredients, and the rich tapestry of Vietnamese culinary heritage. As one of the key events of KOTO’s 25th Anniversary, the collaboration seeks to nurture highly skilled professionals, thereby enhancing Vietnam's tourism and food service industries.

Jimmy Pham of KOTO accentuates that this exchange event offers KOTO trainees a platform to gain insights, skills, and secrets from top culinary experts. “The collaboration between TUNG Group and KOTO in ‘Lên Men’ extends beyond organizing events and activities; it reflects both organizations’ shared commitment to enhancing Vietnamese cuisine quality. This project is a testament to their mutual passion for preserving and promoting the nation’s traditional culinary values while making Vietnamese cuisine more accessible to domestic and international food enthusiasts.”

Through ‘Lên Men: Umami Unleashed’, TUNG Group and KOTO aspire to inspire the younger generation passionate about Vietnamese cuisine and contribute to elevating Vietnamese gastronomy on the international culinary map. This collaboration aims to open vast worlds of knowledge for the younger generation, nurturing their dreams and fostering continuous creativity and development in elevating Vietnamese cuisine to new heights.

TUNG Group will also showcase moments of innovation and collective success as chefs develop signature dishes that blend the sophistication of fine dining with the artistry of fermentation. Scheduled for July 13th in Hanoi and July 18th in Ho Chi Minh City, two masterclasses limited to 30-40 participants each promise to be transformative experiences, followed by two 6-hand dinners for each city.

The ‘Lên Men: Umami Unleashed’ project encompasses various key activities including explorations in Lào Cai to discover traditional ingredients and cooking methods in this culturally rich culinary region; masterclasses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City led by TUNG Group’s celebrity chefs; exclusive dinners; and an exchange event between TUNG Group chefs and KOTO trainees, offering them a platform to gain insights, skills, and secrets from top culinary experts.

By H.Ly, Vietnam Business Forum