Hello from sunny San Diego and thank you for visiting Beyond Sweet and Savory!
My earliest food memory is sitting beside my mom in a make-shift kitchen in Vietnam cooking rice and and fanning the fire of a charcoal brazier furiously to keep it alive. I loved being in the kitchen with her, watching her debone fish, ferment vegetables, make yogurt from scratch, and cook up the most delicious meals.
Fast forward to thirty something years later, a lot has changed. We moved to California when I was ten. For the first eighteen years of my life, I ate mainly Vietnamese food. Burger and pizza weren’t part of my vocabulary until I went to college where a whole new world of food opened up. Pasta became an instant obsession. Growing up on noodles and rice, it was natural for me to gravitate toward Italian cuisine. Tapas, sushi, bibimbap, hummus, dahl, and so many more dishes brought a tsunami of flavors that my taste buds hadn’t been exposed to before. At the same time, I started missing my mom’s home cooked meals. I would spend hours on the phone with my mom asking her how to make pho, bun bo Hue, cha gio, banh xeo, thit kho, and many other Vietnamese dishes. Now that I’m a mom, it’s even more crucial to preserve our Vietnamese heritage and food tradition so that my boys can grow up knowing what traditional Vietnamese dishes should taste and smell like.
Beyond Sweet and Savory was born out of my husband’s encouragement to document my family’s recipes and culinary experiments. I used to laugh at Vu when he suggested that I started a food blog. What a waste of time was my response! Finally, I agreed to give it a try and almost 10 years later, this blog has become my creative corner and a labor of love. I’m forever grateful to Vu for his persistence and introducing me to photography and food blogging and to my mom for inspiring me to cook. I am not a professional photographer or chef by trade but I’ve been cooking for almost two decades. I love my daytime job as a clinical pharmacist and can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
This blog is an avenue for us to share our love of Vietnamese food and recipes that we have come to cherish. We want to introduce you to other Vietnamese dishes besides pho (beef noodle), banh mi (Vietnamese baguette), or goi cuon (spring rolls) even though they are the quintessential food of Vietnam.
Last year I went through a major health crisis and cancer scare which resulted in major lifestyle changes and a focus on food with anti-inflammatory properties to keep my immune system in check. We believe in balance and whole foods so you’ll see a variety of dishes with vegetables, fruits, plant and animal proteins. Many recipes on this blog are heavily influenced by my heritage as well as the seasons and what’s growing in my garden. Through the food we make, we hope to show you how approachable they are and inspire you to start cooking.
Readers often ask why “Beyond Sweet and Savory?” Well, it’s a food blog about the sweet and savory dishes that we love. But more than that, it’s an online journal of our travel, random musings, and snippets from our life, hence the word “beyond.”
For Vietnamese and many other cultures, food brings people together and connects us beyond the tastes and textures of the dishes in front of us. Our family taught us the lasting value of gathering around the dinner table and sharing a meal. We celebrate life and family through food and would like to invite you into our kitchen and our lives through the lens of the camera.
Thank you again for visiting! And we would love to hear any thoughts, comments and recipe suggestions from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vy and Vu