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Celebrity Chef Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van Ordained as Buddhist Monk

Dubbed Vietnam's "national chef," Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van is a household name among many Vietnamese for her role as a cooking instructor on the hit cooking show Kheo Tay Hay Lam.

According to VietnamNet, the famous chef and cooking instructor was recently ordained as a Buddhist monk. The news has brought about an outpouring of support from many who are familiar with Van from TV. While the news came as a surprise for many, Van pursued Buddhist teachings for a period of time before her official ordination.

Although the chef was born in Hanoi in 1954, she spent most of her life living outside of the capital. Her family moved to Gia Lai Province in the 1960s, and later Van was sent to Saigon for undergraduate study. After starting out as a high school teacher, Van worked numerous jobs to make ends meet after her mom passed away and her youngest son fell sick.

In 1989, Van moved to Australia to find treatment for her son's sickness. When she came back to Vietnam a year later, Van found herself no longer qualified for teaching, while her husband was also unemployed. She continued to work various jobs before landing a position at a vocational training center in Tan Binh to teach baking and cooking.

In 1993, the Ho Chi Minh City Television station was looking for a host for its cooking show, Kheo Tay Hay Lam, and the vocational training center recommended Van for the job. Since then, her appearance on the show has gradually made Van an iconic figure and paved way for her success within and outside of Vietnam.

Despite being at the peak of her career, Van started appearing less in public in 2010, and especially from 2012, when she left public view and officially became a Buddhist. Two years later, she went through another dark episode of life when her son passed away.

Have a peek at Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van's work during her time on Kheo Tay Hay Lam below:

Video via YouTube user Phạm Thắng.

[Photo via Eva]


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