THE FIRST TO PRODUCE COMMERCIAL CRAFT SPIRIT IN VIETNAM
MARKUS MADEJA, FOUNDER AND MASTER DISTILLER AT SON TINH ORIGINAL RUOU (CRAFT RICE WINE LIQUOR)
I arrived in Vietnam from Switzerland by train in early 1993. Nurtured by my previous anthropological studies I discovered a culinary world deeply steeped in cultural tradition and tightly connected with ancient medical concepts. This applies not only for strongly coded combinations of food ingredients but obviously for the traditional, local spirits which I decided to introduce to the world of spirit connoisseurs. It was about making something good and making the Vietnamese proud of something their own rather than being absorbed by globalized reduction to only a few tastes.
WHO/WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR GETTING INTO THIS INDUSTRY AND WHY?
Diversity, because I don’t like preconceptions and simple solutions.
CAN YOU NAME 3 UP-AND-COMING INDUSTRY FIGURES TO LOOK OUT FOR IN VIETNAM?
• Tommy Le Khoa for his industrious and audacious analysis of F&B trends
• Peter Cuong Franklin for his playfulness with traditional dishes at Anan Saigon
WHAT’S SOME ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO THOSE LOOKING TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY?
Stay original but be ready to quickly adapt.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WHAT’S YOUR HOPE AND VISION FOR VIETNAM’S F&B INDUSTRY?
I hope to see the Vietnamese stick to their own style of dining. My vision is that the F&B industry will develop a vision.
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