Aussie chef Luke Nguyen turned the Alnwick Garden into his kitchen as he filmed his new TV series in Northumberland.
The Vietnamese-born cook, a well-known face on small screens down under, was in the region to film the latest episode in his new series about Great British cuisine.
He took a tour of the Alnwick Garden’s famous Poision Garden alongside the Duchess of Northumberland looking for potential ingredients.Then, the Duchess helped him create a recipe in The Alnwick Garden Treehouse - the tasty-sounding stir-fried lemongrass beef served with a vermicelli noodle, Asian herbs and exotic fruit salad.
Luke said: “To me, food in the UK from an Australian Vietnamese point of view wasn’t really well known, but coming here for the first time, seeing all of the local producers and farmers and how passionate people are about produce, I think the UK has evolved [with regard to food] over the decades.
“I really want to change people’s perceptions about food in the UK.”
Owner of the acclaimed Sydney Red Lantern Restaurant, 32-year-old Luke has made and appeared in shows for Australian channel SBS, including Food Safari, Heat in the Kitchen, Luke’s Vietnam and Luke’s France.
He was a judge and host for the first series of MasterChef Vietnam in 2013 and has appeared in Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape and MasterChef Australia.
He has written a number of successful cookery books including Secrets of The Red Lantern, as well as The Songs of Sapa, which describes Luke’s journey through Vietnam with stories and recipes accompanied by stunning photography.
One of the foremost experts on Vietnamese cuisine, when Jamie Oliver asked Luke what made Vietnamese food so special, he said: “It’s because Vietnam is food!
“You don’t just say hello to someone, you ask them if they’ve eaten.”
The new TV series will explore British cuisine at a local level and sees Luke travelling all around the UK.