September 29, 2023

Student Whips Up Success on MasterChef

CSU Vietnam student Hoàng Minh Nhật has cooked her way into history.

At age 23, she is winner of the TV reality show MasterChef Vietnam and the youngest chef to ever win the title in the TV series history!

Hoang is humble about this remarkable achievement, which was fueled by her love of cooking and determination. “I decided to follow my dream, my passion. I feel that the more you love your job, the more value you can give to society. I believed that MasterChef was the chance for me to follow my dream.”

That dream began at a very young age.

“I started cooking when I was 5 years old. I was in kindergarten. My parents trained me to do some household chores. One of the things they taught me to do was to make rice in our electrical rice cooker. This was my very first experience with cooking,” explained Hoang, who attends CSU Vietnam at the Center for International Training Cooperation in Hanoi. “As I got older, my parents taught me more and I learned the joy of making good food for our family. I guess my passion for food just comes naturally.”

While she learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, magazines, newspapers and cooking shows supplemented. However, Hoang said she really improved her knowledge via the Internet. “Since the growth of the internet with its global reach, I’ve had the chance to watch many amazing clips on YouTube about cooking. I mostly learned everything from YouTube’s cooking channel.”

This learning paid off on the show as she created her signature dish, stir-fry noodles with cuttlefish, which she made in the Top 3 challenge of MasterChef. It was made by combining elements of Vietnamese street food from Southern and Northern Vietnam.

Her path to the show was not easy. “I signed up to be a contestant and passed through five rounds of preliminaries, competing with thousands of other candidates to be one of the top 12 and get on TV,” she said. All this with no formal background in cooking as she is a Hanoi Foreign Trade University graduate who has worked in the marketing department for a year and a half.

An eager student, Hoang is pursuing an MBA with CSU to learn more about business administration as she wants open a restaurant.

“I believe that the more you learn, the more you’ll be confident. I would like to learn in depth about management and about human resources to prepare myself for my future plans. Loving cooking is not enough for me to succeed in the culinary world; success has to be a combination of so many other things.”

Sounds like this CSU student knows the recipe to succeed!

(Header photo of Hoàng Minh Nhật cooking on MasterChef Vietnam. Photos below of her final winning dishes in the finale. All images courtesy of MasterChef Vietnam)



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