Nguyệt Pawlyn is a relative newcomer to the School of Wok family and is our Vietnamese cookery specialist.
She learnt to cook at a very early age - "as eldest daughter I had to", she says - making her four siblings rice at a Hong Kong refugee camp while her parents went out to work. Having left Vietnam when she was just six years old, she says that cooking the food of her native country was the "main link to the culture we left behind".
"Vietnamese food is all about balance," Nguyệt explains. "It's simple but so fresh, as we use a lot of different varieties of fresh herbs - they are not just for garnish but play a major part in Vietnamese food.
"Dishes are aromatic with layers of flavour and the amount of spice is controlled to individual taste with the use of chilli and dipping fish sauce."
At School of Wok, Nguyệt will be teaching students a wide range of traditional dishes including Vietnamese spring rolls, rice wraps of marinated meat and herbs, wonderfully fresh vermicelli noodle salads, barbecued lemongrass-marinated seafood and of course the Vietnamese classic, Pho.
Pho, or noodle soup, is the national dish of Vietnam and a favourite of Nguyệt's, one that people eat at all times of the day, especially for breakfast. "It's a mixture of spices and lemongrass broth topped with beef, bean sprouts, lots of fresh herbs, chillies and fresh lime juice...One bowl is never quite enough!" she says.
Nguyệt will be running cooking lessons at the weekends when our Covent Garden HQ opens next month. If you're interested in trying your hand at scrumptious Pho or a number of other tantalising Vietnamese classics, check the calendar for more details.
Here's a little taster of the delicious, delectable delights that Nguyệt will be teaching at SOW...