Back Eat & Drink » Food Culture » Celebrity Chef Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van Ordained as Buddhist Monk

Celebrity Chef Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van Ordained as Buddhist Monk

Dubbed Vietnam's "national chef," Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van is a household name among many Vietnamese for her role as a cooking instructor on the hit cooking show Kheo Tay Hay Lam.

According to VietnamNet, the famous chef and cooking instructor was recently ordained as a Buddhist monk. The news has brought about an outpouring of support from many who are familiar with Van from TV. While the news came as a surprise for many, Van pursued Buddhist teachings for a period of time before her official ordination.

Although the chef was born in Hanoi in 1954, she spent most of her life living outside of the capital. Her family moved to Gia Lai Province in the 1960s, and later Van was sent to Saigon for undergraduate study. After starting out as a high school teacher, Van worked numerous jobs to make ends meet after her mom passed away and her youngest son fell sick.

In 1989, Van moved to Australia to find treatment for her son's sickness. When she came back to Vietnam a year later, Van found herself no longer qualified for teaching, while her husband was also unemployed. She continued to work various jobs before landing a position at a vocational training center in Tan Binh to teach baking and cooking.

In 1993, the Ho Chi Minh City Television station was looking for a host for its cooking show, Kheo Tay Hay Lam, and the vocational training center recommended Van for the job. Since then, her appearance on the show has gradually made Van an iconic figure and paved way for her success within and outside of Vietnam.

Despite being at the peak of her career, Van started appearing less in public in 2010, and especially from 2012, when she left public view and officially became a Buddhist. Two years later, she went through another dark episode of life when her son passed away.

Have a peek at Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van's work during her time on Kheo Tay Hay Lam below:

Video via YouTube user Phạm Thắng.

[Photo via Eva]

Related Articles:

A New Netflix Series Will Showcase Saigon Street Food and 8 Other Asian Cuisines

Vietnamese Ranks 13th Among World's Most Favorite Cuisines, Survey Says

Hẻm Gems: Chinese-Malaysian Noodles and Saigon's New Generation of Street Food

Related Articles

in Food Culture

'Trendy' Elephant Poop Coffee Taking off in Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its cafe chồn, coffee beans that are ingested, pooped out by weasels and sold at prices far higher than the normal variety. Now, a Vietnamese breeder is adopting a similar techniq...

in Food Culture

2 Vietnamese Restaurants in Saigon, Hanoi Named Among Asia's 100 Best

Vietnam’s culinary prowess is no secret, with its traditional dishes helping to draw tourists from all over the globe. 

in Food Culture

20 Vietnamese Foods You Need to Try Now

Uyen Luu, author of My Vietnamese Kitchen and contributor to Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, shares her favorite Vietnamese dishes and how to cook them.

in Food Culture

5 Of Saigon’s Best Markets

When people think of Saigon, the iconic Bến Thành Market usually comes to mind. But while it’s rich in history, for locals, it’s little more than a tourist attraction. Vietnam Coracle recently took to...

in Food Culture

7 Of Vietnam’s Most Expensive Traditional Dishes

As Vietnam’s cities develop, there are plenty of restaurants that offer up dishes at international (read: expensive) prices. While Vietnamese food is generally considered cheap, there are a few notabl...

in Food Culture

A Chat With The Organizers Of The Outcast’s Farmers Market

Saigon’s only farmers market is gearing up for its second installment at Saigon Outcast this Sunday. We sat down with the organizers (Saigon Outcast and La Holista) to see why they started the market,...

Partner Content