Bringing Vietnamese cuisine to the world
NDO – Le Ha Huyen, also known as Helen Le, a MBA student at the University of Hamburg in Germany, is the founder of the largest channel featuring Vietnamese food on YouTube, called Helen’s Recipes (Vietnamese Food). The Da Nang-born girl’s channel has attracted millions of views around the world
After finishing highschool in Da Nang, Ha Huyen received a scholarship of from the National University of Singapore. She then went to Germany to study for her MBA. Helen Le shared that she often receives questions about the specialties of Vietnam. For this reason, she decided to create a website on Vietnamese cuisine, and most importantly, the food of her hometown Da Nang.
In 2011, she started her YouTube channel, where she posts video clips guiding foreign viewers on how to cook these dishes. After sharing the first video on ‘Banh Bot Loc’ (Vietnamese clear shrimp and pork dumpling), she received a lot of encouragement. Currently, she has shared over 200 videos on Vietnamese foods at Helen’s Recipes (Vietnamese Food), one of YouTube’s most popular channels featuring Vietnamese cuisine, and garnering more than 35 million views and nearly 150,000 subscribers, mostly foreigners. All clips are in English with sub-titles.
Before uploading a clip, Helen Le spends a lot of time researching preparation of the dish. Her clips feature not only how to cook dishes, but also the secrets of keeping the traditional taste of Vietnamese foods, making Helen Le’s channel a big success.
“The happiest thing is that after posting clip, many people followed my advice and sent photos of their food”, Helen Le shared. In 2012, Adele Hoang Diep, a 16-year-old American of Vietnamese origin who was adopted right after being born, sent Helen Le an email that read: “I thought a part of my life was a big mystery but seeing your recipes made me feel like I found my lost world.”
When Helen has visited Australia, she met an Australian man whose girlfriend is Vietnamese, and said Helen Le’s clips made him love Vietnamese food even more.
Helen Le often comes to the RoK and Japan to promote Vietnamese cuisine and learn more about the cuisine of other countries. She joined a cooking contest called Seoul Fusion Hansik held in Korea in 2013 and was among the top five best chefs. She was filmed by the channel Today Korea thanks to her unique recipe that combined Vietnamese spring rolls with RoK’s beef salad.
Besides videos on Vietnamese food, Helen Le also wrote book. Her book collection named ‘Vietnamese foods with Helen’s Recipes, featuring over 60 Vietnamese dishes, has sold over 1,000 books around the world.
Helen noted, “Vietnamese cuisine opened many chances for me. I will continue to share Vietnamese cuisine with people around the world and help them learn more about my country’s culture and traditions”.