Luke's love for cooking and his passion for spreading Vietnamese cuisine and culture around the world have earned him an international reputation as a respected and celebrated chef and restaurateur.
While accepting the honour, Luke said food had always played a major role in his life for as long as he could remember.
“My great passion is food, its history, its people and the culture,” Luke said. “It’s all of these things that make food so special to me.”
At the tender age of 23, Luke opened his first restaurant in Sydney and in the decade that followed, continued to open award-winning establishments around the world including Australian restaurants Fat Noodle, an Asian Noodle Bar at The Star in Sydney and The Treasury in Brisbane.
Ten years ago, his dream grew beyond restaurants – he knew he wanted to share his passion for Vietnamese cuisine and culture with the world.
“I wanted to create an authentic cooking and travel TV series through this wonderful country [Vietnam],” Luke shared while accepting the honour. “I wanted to showcase the delicious street food of Vietnam – the food that inspires me every day.”
Since then, Luke has filmed and produced nine TV series, including Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong, Luke Nguyen’s France, Luke Nguyen’s UK, and Street Food Asia & Luke Nguyen’s Food Trails which have been televised in 150 countries around the world.
In 2011, he was inducted into Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald’s Food Hall of Fame for his cooking and culinary travel programs.
Luke is also the author of numerous bestselling and award-winning cookbooks. His first book Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart was published in 2007 and has been followed by The Songs of Sapa: Stories and Recipes from Vietnam, Indochine: Baguettes and Banh Mi - Finding France in Vietnam, Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong: A Culinary Journey from China to Vietnam, The Food of Vietnam; Luke Nguyen’s France, From China to Vietnam, and most recently Street Food Asia which was published in 2016.
An ambassador for award-winning travel group Australian Pacific Touring (APT) and the host of culinary trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Myanmar and Japan, Luke is also the Global Cuisine Ambassador for Vietnam Airlines and Taste of Australia 2019 – a partnership between the Australian Government, and Australian and Vietnamese producers, distributors, retailers, restaurants, and organisations that celebrate Australian cuisine, culture and lifestyle throughout Vietnam.