Luke Nguyen is a celebrity chef in Australia (his show Passport to Asia airs on the Cooking Channel here), and also has a restaurant called Red Lantern in Sydney. Photos of Nguyen pop up throughout his new cookbook, The Food of Vietnam, and while his personal anecdotes may be lost on unfamiliar American audiences, there's still plenty in here.
Where The Food of Vietnam succeeds is in its emphasis on regional Vietnamese cuisine, with chapters dedicated to 16 regions. Many American cookbooks on Southeast Asian cuisines (or, indeed, Asian cuisines in general) tend to be generalizing, flattening each country into one representative cuisine. Nguyen's book shows how food varies as from the Mekong Delta to central coast to Hanoi and the northern cuisines. The Food of Vietnam comes out from Hardie Grant Books on October 1 (pre-order on Amazon); below, a look inside.