A Vietnamese-Polish winner of MasterChef, the competitive cooking reality TV show produced in 60 countries around the world, will headline a special “Polish Gastronomy Week” from Nov. 8-15 at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, spotlighting popular dishes from the central European country.
Ola Nguyen, 22, who was born in Vietnam and raised in Poland, launched her professional culinary career after winning the 7th edition of MasterChef Poland in 2018. She went on to write one of the country’s best-selling cookbooks, and she has accomplished all of this while studying finance at the Warsaw School of Economics.
Her five-course menu for “Polish Gastronomy Week” features traditional favorites enhanced by Chef Ola’s own contemporary touches. The meal begins with two classic Polish soups. The first, Cold Beet Soup, is popular on warm days, and features soured milk, young beet stems, cucumbers, thickened red beetroot juice and lemon juice, and is seasoned with dill and chives. The second is Zurek, a hearty, sour soup typically eaten at Easter that consists of fermented rye flour, boiled pork sausage, root vegetables, spices, a boiled egg and dried mushrooms.
Pork Cutlet with Silesian Dumplings in Red Fruits and Rosemary Sauce, the first main course, takes the region’s popular breaded and fried pork chop, and serves it alongside a sweet and tangy sauce made from late-summer cherries, black currants and cranberries. The second main course is Ruthenian Dumplings With Caramelized and Pickled Onion. These potato and cheese dumplings are commonly served at Christmas time and are internationally beloved.
For dessert, Apple Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream highlights top Polish export products: sweet and sour crunchy apples, and high-quality dairy. The pastry features a thick layer of tender caramelized apples with a dense, cake-like crust and a crumble topping.
The menu is also served with a Dried Fruit Compote made from cooked ripe fruit, including strawberries, raspberries and pears. The sweet drink is popular on national holidays and is widely available at school canteens, as well as the Polish cafeterias known as “milk bars.”
The “Polish Gastronomy Week” menu will be served at Metropole Hanoi’s Le Club Bar, and the event is being hosted in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Hanoi.