On MasterChef Australia last week, it was Pro Cooks Vs Home Cooks week. We watched our contestants battle it out in the kitchen with a star-studded lineup of chefs, from NOMAD’s Jacqui Challinor to Serai’s Ross Magnaye.
This week, a whole host of new challenges are entering the kitchen to push the contestants to their limits. First up is a pressure test from Chef Luke Nguyen who will challenge the cooks to recreate his iconic Beef Pho. The twist? They’ll have to do it with no recipe. How will the contestants fare?
Who Is Luke Nguyen?
Luke Nguyen is best known for his Sydney restaurant Red Lantern, which is housed in a heritage terrace building in Darlinghurst. But Nguyen is more than just a chef and restaurateur. He’s an inspiration, an author, and has had a few stints on TV, including Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam and Luke Nguyen’s France.
Nguyen was born in Thailand in 1978 after his parents fled Vietnam. He grew up in a Thai refugee camp before settling in Sydney. Here, his parents shared their love of Vietnamese food with him, which sparked Nguyen’s love of food and instinct for taste. His parents had a noodle house in Cabramatta, where he worked and learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.
At the ripe age of 23, Nguyen opened Red Lantern, which remains a Vietnamese institution in Sydney.
Today, Nguyen also has his hand in the business world. He co-founded GRAIN, a cooking studio in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, as well as The Little Lantern Foundation Hoi An. The foundation provides disadvantaged youths with an opportunity to undertake a hospitality training program in Little Lantern’s operating hotel, restaurant and bar.
Red Lantern Restaurant
Red Lantern channels the best of Vietnamese street food in a casual, buzzy atmosphere. Whether you want to drop in for a street food snack or a cold beer after work, Red Lantern is an institution in Sydney.
Although Red Lantern isn’t just one restaurant, it’s a feast for the senses. Drive down nearby Crown Lane for a delicious banquet shoved through a drive-thru window, and you can enjoy authentic Vietnamese from the comfort of your couch.
The restaurant has a more formal dining area, where diners can assemble and enjoy a meal, or there’s a bar that serves snacks and cocktails and is always a good time.
Monday nights are reserved for Pho, with the recently added HosPho Nights. There, diners can pull up a chair, and tuck into Nguyen’s famous Pho’s, which the MasterChef contestants will have to recreate on tonight’s pressure test.
Want more MasterChef Australia? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below:
- Get Ready to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with ‘MasterChef: Dessert Masters’
- Introducing the ‘MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises’ Top 18
- The Secrets and Surprises Are About to Begin on ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023
- ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023: Adi Is a Doctor Who Combines Science and Cooking
- Andrea Is Ready to Push His Skills to the Limit on ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Antonio Is a Software Developer Who’s Ready to Win ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Brent Is Back for ‘MasterChef’ 2023, and He Wants to Inspire Others
- Cath Is Ready to Make Her Culinary Dreams Come True on ‘MasterChef’
- Jessica Is an Optometrist Who Sees Herself Winning ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Declan Is a Carpenter Who’s Ready to Get His Hands Dirty on ‘MasterChef’
- Grace Refuses to Let Endometriosis Get In Her Way on ‘MasterChef’
- Larissa Is Ready to Take on the ‘MasterChef’ Kitchen
- Phil Is Ready to Bring His A-Game to ‘MasterChef Australia’
- Ralph Is Bringing His Passion for Food and Family to ‘MasterChef’
- Rhiannon Is Ready to Follow Her Dreams on ‘MasterChef’
- Robbie Is Bringing Aboriginal Asian Fusion to ‘MasterChef’
- Rue Has Her Eyes on the Prize on ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Theo Is an Electrician Who Plans to Show His Spark on ‘MasterChef’
- “Deeply Shocked and Saddened” — ‘MasterChef’ Judge Jock Zonfrillo Has Died Aged 46
- The Beautiful Story Behind Jock Zonfrillo’s Worry Beads
- Melissa Leong Reveals How Much Food the ‘MasterChef’ Judges Actually Eat