Vietnamese dishes are increasingly working their way into the American food scene. If you’ve ever sipped rice noodles from a fresh bowl of pho or taken a bite of a Vietnamese sandwich — Bánh mì — you’ve had a taste of Vietnam.
Tan Pham, ’87, suggests not only getting a taste — but a flavor-filled experience of the Southeast Asian country. Pham leads a cuisine tour of two major cities in Vietnam, as well as many small villages, back roads and family dinner tables along the way.
With help from his business co-owner and wife, Alumna Susan Niedzwiecki-Pham, ’88 & ’11, and a UWL international alumnus from Vietnam Huy Le, they coordinate not only a cuisine tour, but also a cultural experience.
Le, ’06 and ’08, is the general manager of Cuisine Adventure Tours. He is responsible for planning the activities, excursion, hotels, flights and transportation within Vietnam. The business relationship developed from a friendship that grew while Le studied abroad at UW-La Crosse. Tan, Susan and their two kids became “like family” during Le’s time at UWL.
“We developed this relationship that will be for the rest of our lives,” explains Tan.