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Aussie celebrity chef to highlight Yunnan cuisine

By : au.news.yahoo.com | Published: 2012-February-23

The celebrity chef in a scene from his new TV show on SBS One. Picture: Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong.

A group of women sit on their porch in the Yunnan Province of China and expertly skewer meat while Sydney-based celebrity chef Luke Nguyen patiently watches and learns.

When he decides to join in, the sisters' giggles acknowledge his efforts.

Nguyen doesn't take offence; instead he rather good-naturedly accepts their opinion of his handiwork; after all, the women have perfected the art of skewering - their family's livelihood depends on it.

He then replicates the family's popular skewered meat recipe for viewers of Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong, the third instalment of his popular television show that airs in 150 countries.

His admiration for the women is just one of the reasons food lovers around the world have fallen for the charming chef with the big smile and sense of wonder whose wanderlust encourages them to explore countries that might otherwise have intimidated them.

In Greater Mekong, the chef steps out of his comfort zone to explore areas with which even he was unfamiliar - all in an attempt to introduce his viewers to a landscape rich with natural beauty and taste sensations.

"I don't speak the language, but the language of food speaks to me," he says.

"I can't take credit for what I'll cook for you; I can only showcase what centuries of Asian culinary diversity has brought to us all."

The Greater Mekong region incorporates six countries: China, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Only China's Yunnan Province, Burma and Thailand will be explored in the 10 half-hour episodes of the latest series, which kicks off on SBS on February 23.

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