Meet Melbourne-based Thanh Do, who describes himself as
an engineer, home baker, gluttonous diner and food blogger all in one.
Learn how he indulges his interests on the blog,
I Eat Therefore I Am.
We chat to Thanh about his favourite Melbourne haunts, his childhood appreciation of food, and where he hopes his gastronomic fixation will take him.
What’s your most memorable Melbourne food adventure?
I would say three Melbourne food adventures are clearest in my mind. The first and most obvious is the first meal I had at Vue de Monde. That dinner opened up my eyes to how fantastic fine dining can be. The second adventure was when I first attended a bloggers meetup in the early days of food blogging, nearly four years ago. It was scary and exciting to meet other bloggers in real life. Finally, the last adventure was my recent boot camp experience at Steer Bar and Grill. It was exciting to see a fully functional restaurant kitchen and follow the chefs around for two weeks.
What makes the Melbourne food scene unique?
I think the Melbourne food scene is unique due to the wonderful mix of cultures that exist here. For example, when I was in Rome on holiday, it was impossible to find Thai food to eat one night. Whereas in Melbourne, you can be eating Thai one night, Japanese the next, and Greek the day after. There are so many migrants here and they bring along their foods and cultures to share and enhance our food scene.
Has your cooking ability improved with the creation of your blog?
My cooking has improved greatly due to my food blog. Initially, I didn’t cook at all. But, after reading more and more recipes, I started to bake. I baked at the beginning because I wanted to eat the end product, but then found I liked the process of baking as it was relaxing. I have also started to cook savoury foods, due to meetups with other food bloggers where we cook and share food. I now enjoy cooking savoury dishes as well.
Where in the world is your ideal gastronomical destination?
Without a doubt, my ideal gastronomical destination is France. I love French food and am in utter awe of the numerous techniques the French have. The food can be both intricate and simple, and equally delicious. The French also know how to enjoy their food and really make food part of their being.
Have you ever been known to skip dinner altogether and go straight for dessert?
I have definitely skipped dinner sometimes and just eaten dessert. Usually, that’s after a big lunch so I’m quite full already, but I do love my desserts.
Let's say an foreign fellow foodie has come to visit to see what Australian food has to offer. Where would you take them?
As I only know Melbourne places well, I’d recommend options from here. I’d take them to Vue de Monde, to try what I think is the best food in Melbourne. We would go to Springvale where I grew up, for some Pho from Pho Hung Vuong, as it’s simple and delicious. Melbourne has a huge population of Greeks and Italians, so I would take them to Hellenic Republic, and D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar, for more simple, tasty food. Lastly, I think it’s worth seeing our wonderful winery region, so I’d take them to a winery restaurant, maybe Rochford Winery Restaurant.
What opportunities have come your way as a result of starting your blog?
I've had numerous experiences related to the food industry which would never have been available to me had it not been for my food blog. I have been able to interview chefs; speak to food producers; go behind the scenes at restaurants; cover food festivals; and, most of all, interact with other food lovers and become good friends with them.
What’s your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is to give all foods a try and enjoy things in moderation. I am always looking out for good food and wanting to share it with others.
What is the magical ingredient that grants restaurants your perfect score?
For me, many places can have exceptional food, but, for a perfect experience, a lot of elements have to also align – some of which are not in the restaurant’s complete control. Food, service, timing, and ambiance are obvious elements that a restaurant needs to get right. But a perfect dining experience requires the right dining companions, and also for the diner to be in a good mood already.
When did your food obsession begin?
I think my food obsession began from age one, according to Mum and Dad. From when I could first walk, my parents told me that whenever Dad came home from work with some food and tease me with it, I would run right to him to grab the food, and not him.
Where would you like your food obsession to take you?
I would love to be involved in the food industry in a small way, but I am unsure exactly how just yet. I’m definite that I don’t want to be involved in the cooking aspect, as that is far too hard and takes far more passion than I possess. Instead, I am more interested in something related to food communications, either in media or some related form, as I love to find the stories behind the restaurants and industry professionals. If my involvement does not go any further than my food blog, I’d still be extremely happy to keep doing just that.
What would your blog followers be surprised to learn about you?
I think I’ve told my readers a lot about myself throughout the years, and there isn’t too much that they would be surprised about. They already know I’m a massive geek who enjoys karaoke and '80s music.
Thanh is currently a finalist in the Malaysia Kitchen Summit competition. If you like his posts, vote for him here.
Follow Thanh on Twitter.
Meet Melbourne-based Thanh Do, who describes himself as