Taste of Australia 2018

I am only just coming back down to Earth after one of the most whirlwind trips to Vietnam. We flew back to Vietnam this time to work with the Australian Consulate and Embassy in performing a series of events as part of Taste of Australia 2018 month.

Taste of Australia is a month long initiative whereby Australian produce, culture and businesses come together in raising awareness of how AWESOME Australia is. Taste of Australia is in its 3rd year and with food being the focus the first year, fashion in the second year, Music became the highlight of 2018.

PERFECT PAIRINGS - Tuesday 3rd April, 2018

Kicking off the week, I performed my Perfect Pairings event, paired with Australian wines. The event was held at the gorgeous Hotel des Arts, MGallery Collection HCMC. An intimate event, I played my favorite concept-concert! Huge thanks to Betty Tran for dressing me!! Her gowns are absolutely amazing and I was draped in Betty Tran outfits the entire week because naturally, I wanted to wear an Australian-Vietnamese designer! :)


Next up was flying up to Hanoi for the Taste of Australia Hanoi Gala at Melia Hotel. Mark Bowyer, an Aussie guitarist and singer who has been living in Vietnam for over 20 years. His Vietnamese is FLAWLESS, with the FULL Northern proper pronounciation! I was gobsmacked to be honest. With Jetstar Pacific being major sponsors of Taste of Australia, the flight gave passengers a special taste of Australia, giving out Australian wine tasters, macadamia nuts and best of all, Caramello Koalas :) All of this happened whilst Mark played Aussie songs up and down the aisles and we had a koala mascot dancing up and down the aisles! If only ALL flights were like this, it'd make flying time much faster.

HANOI GALA - Wednesday 4th April, 2018

Mark and I performed featured performances for the Gala! The best part of this Gala was the fact that there was an entire Tim Tam table and a Penfolds tasting corner. The food in general was next level! Luke Nguyen has been the Ambassador for Taste of Australia since its inception and it was awesome to finally meet this talented Vietnamese-Australian!

SAIGON GALA - Thursday 5th April, 2018

We quickly jumped back on a flight the next morning to get back to Saigon to do the Saigon Gala, literally getting to soundcheck right on time, refreshed, jumped into a new dress and bam, show time! Yet another wonderful night.

NOSH DINNER - Saturday 7th April 2018

3 Aussie chefs from reputable restaurants in HCMC came together, each creating a dish with Aussie produce, paired with Australian wines = the Nosh Dinner. Such fun to be on the other side (not performing). We had great company of the Australian Consulate team as well as the British Consul General on our table. The dinner was held at Luke Nguyen's Cooking Studio in HCMC - Grain. Check it out guys!!


The last of this marathon week of events was of course the Brunch at the Social Club Saigon, Hotel des Arts MGallery Collection - the best brunch in town! Mark and I have played the Brunch a few times now and it's always a vibe with grand piano, DJ, bongos and congas and just a whole lot of fun, especially when there's a huge bunch of Aussies involved. Let's just say the last hour was full of Aussie classics, lip sync battles and dancing!

By the end of this week, I felt like a walking zombie but it was all SO WORTH IT! There's nothing better than playing piano, working with my partner Mark on all our fusion collaborations, being able to travel with it and having oodles of fun along the way! I ended up having 2 baths in 2 days to chillax, a record for me HAHAHAH!

I really want to thank the teams at the Australian Consulate, Embassy, Jetstar Pacific and Hotel des Arts M Gallery for making this week possible. It is particularly special for me to perform at such a week of events, being both Australian and Vietnamese. It really brings it home that we can bridge the gap particularly in this generation! To all the friends who came from different countries and attended many of these events, SO awesome to see you. To the friends in Vietnam, always a hoot to catch up with you all and to the new friends we have made, we'll see you again soon!

Til next time, love and grace,

Van-Anh xoxo

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