Chef Hue Chan Karels

An Invitation to Joyful and Culturally Curious Travelers

and Seekers of Extraordinary, Authentic Experiences

Join me and Open Kitchen on an inspiring, curated Culinary Escapade to Việt-Nam! Whether you’ve been to Việt-Nam or it’s on your “bucket list,” I invite you to experience my homeland and take a deep dive into Việt-Nam’s heart and soul through her spirited culinary heritage.

chef hue chan karels

An Immersive Culinary Escapade to Việt-Nam

I’ve designed an itinerary based on my personal Việt-Nam experiences.  We will travel to three distinct regions of Việt-Nam – North, Central, and South.  Each region showcases Việt-Nam’s unique cuisine based on geography, climate, history, and cultural and ethnic characteristics.  To experience the diversity and vibrancy of each region, we will immerse ourselves in a wide range of activities from cooking classes with local chefs, market excursions, eating street foods from generation-old vendors as well as tasting creations from a new generation of Vietnamese chefs, exploring ancient towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites, to soaking in the history behind temples and ethnic villages.  

As your travel companion, my desire is to elevate and deepen your experience with Việt-Nam, by sharing personal stories and insights that create intimate connections with local people and the culture.  This Open Kitchen Culinary Escapade has been custom-curated and expertly planned with our Việt-Nam travel partner and will be executed with the highest attention to details to provide you with unique, memorable experiences.  Open Kitchen is supported by a team of in-country guides to manage all logistics and nuances.  You can be assured that you will be cared for from beginning to end.

Open Kitchen’s Việt-Nam Culinary Escapade is for you if you are:

EXCITED about learning and experiencing Việt-Nam’s culinary heritage through cooking classes with local chefs, regional food and market tours, and chefs’ tasting meals in unique settings.

SEEKING active adventures from bicycling through rice paddies to exploring laid-back ancient towns, temples, and centuries-old charming architecture on foot, riding through bustling cities on back of scooters, and exploring the majestic Mekong Delta on a traditional sampan as well as relaxing and kayaking on the mesmerizing waters of Ha Long Bay on a private premier cruise.

active adventures in Vietnam

COMFORTABLE in luxurious accommodations as well as charming homestays.

luxurious accommodations as well as humble homestays
vietnamese food

THRILLED to taste local life by eating your way through bustling street food eateries as well as experiencing “Cuisine Mới,” or “New Cuisine” in modern, upscale restaurants.

OPEN to exploration and learning about different people and cultures, and are comfortable with unplanned occurrences that may bring about magical experiences and unforgettable memories.

explore different people and cultures

ENJOY communal experiences as well as opportunities to explore Việt-Nam on your own.

Travel Highlights

Our journey will begin in Northern Việt-Nam, the cradle of Vietnamese civilization.

  • You will arrive in Hà Nội, one of oldest capitals in the world that served as the capital of French Indochina during the French colonial period.
  • We will travel to Mai Châu, a remote village in a lush valley with terraced rice fields 90 miles southwest of Hà Nội and experience the vibrant mountainous tribal culture and home to 7 of the 54 ethnic minority groups.
  • We will conclude our time in Northern Việt-Nam by venturing to Hạ Long Bay (“descending dragon”), a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands and islets topped by rainforests.

Next, we will travel to Central Việt-Nam, first to the Imperial City of Huế, the cradle of Vietnamese culture and the last dynastic capital of Vietnam under the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802 to1945), then to the quaint ancient port town of Hội An, one of the most important ports on the South China Sea connecting the East with Europe from the 15th to the 19th century.

We will end our journey in Southern Việt-Nam with the uber-urban Hồ Chí Minh City (“Saigon”) and then the Mekong Delta – the rich and fertile rice basket of Việt-Nam.

Authentic Experiences

  • Discover and celebrate Vietnamese cultural heritage, legacies, and stories with curated visits to hidden alleys in Hà Nội, an ancient home on An Bình Island along the Mê Kông River, UNESCO recognized World Heritage sites (Hạ Long Bay, Huế’s Imperial City, and Hội An’s Ancient Town), French colonial architecture, ancient temples and ruins, and pagodas.
  • Experience Vietnamese cultural diversity and traditions with a bicycle ride through Mai Châu’s ethnic villages, a special visit to a traditional floating village in Hạ Long Bay, and a private art and fashion show in Huế featuring “Áo Dài” the traditional Vietnamese dresses that originated from the Nguyen dynasty. 
  • Explore real life in the Mê Kông Delta with a homestay travel that will give you a chance to soak in the region’s laid back yet wonderful life.   

Deep Connections

  • We will dive deep into Việt-Nam’s local character and culture by meeting and getting to know some of the people who make Việt-Nam so special…its “Cultural Ambassadors,” from chefs to artisans who’ve been practicing their craft for generations, to farmers and market vendors who are proud of their products and way of life, and everyday people who call Việt-Nam home.
  • We will also visit two charities – Children of Vietnam in Đà Nẵng and Streets International in and Hội An – to learn about their missions to help the future of Việt-Nam through its children and experience traditional local cuisines prepared by these organizations. Open Kitchen will donate a portion of our proceeds from our Việt-Nam Culinary Escapade to further the missions of these charities.

We believe you will be charmed by the Vietnamese people and these connections will create joyful experiences, lasting memories, a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese culture, and such a powerful reminder of why we travel.

Culinary Adventure and Heritage

  • 4 hands-on and 4 demonstration cooking classes with local and celebrity chefs to discover the lineage of some of Vietnam’s most essential dishes and taste the distinctive cuisines of Việt-Nam’s Northern, Central, and Southern regions.
  • Coffee making class, tea tasting with local tea master, and rice spirit tasting.
  • Curated market and culinary tours of street foods and watering holes by scooter, foot, and bicycle.
  • Unique dining experiences from sunset seafood BBQ on the beach in Hội An, to a homestyle family meal prepared by local mothers being support by the Children of Vietnam charity in Đà Nẵng, to an exciting interactive meal at a hip restaurant in Hồ Chí Minh City by Chef Nikki Tran who’s appeared on Netflix’s Street Food, and elevated “Cuisine Mới,” or “New Cuisine” at Chef Peter Cuong Franklin’s Anan Saigon that’s voted top 50 restaurants in Asia.


Booking Inquiries

Our trip is limited to 12 participants. Please let us know how to reach you about booking this once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure.