Celebrity chef visits Valdosta State University - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Celebrity chef visits Valdosta State University

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –A world famous chef visited Valdosta State University Tuesday sharing the smells and flavors of Vietnamese and Thai food.

Mai Pham has her own TV series on the Food Network.

She gave cooking demonstrations and taught VSU cooks how to prepare dishes many students say they've never tried.

Mushrooms and soy sauce over a hot pan is magical says world renowned chef Mai Pham. You may recognize her from the Food Network show "My Country My Kitchen: Vietnam." She shared a taste of Southeast Asia at Valdosta State University's main dining hall.

"Food is really a universal language that everyone can respond to in different ways in personal ways," said Pham.

She spent lunch time demonstrating how to make dishes like rice paper wrapped salad rolls.

"It's a way of saying let's embrace all the wonderful cultures of the world one way of doing it is to discover to eat all the wonderful flavors of the world," said Pham.

Some students never tried vietnamese food until Tuesday and they couldn't get enough.

"This is my first bowl of soup," said VSU student Casey Holcom. "I've had five plates though."

Three dishes were prepared including jasmine rice and thai green curry with chicken.

"I think the students are stepping out of their box and trying to find some new stuff and they're realizing, hey I like ginger hey I like lemon grass," said VSU Dining Services/Sodexo General Manager Rich Yokeley.

Pham says when she grew up, the main activity of the day was dinner.

"My grandmother raised 80 percent of the food so I grew up in that kind of environment so I learned to love food, respect food," Pham.

Pham's the chef and owner of Lemon Grass restaurant in Sacramento California, a book writer, and food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tuesday wasn't the only day to eat the gourmet thai and vietnamese food. Over the next six weeks VSU will feature signature recipes that Pham has created.

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