Our story

Chef Hà Nguyen began his career in Hanoi local restaurants and the Hilton Opera Hotel before travel, study and work in Wellington, New Zealand –New Zealand Diploma in Cookery and Bachelor in Hospitality Management at Wellington Institute of Technology. Chef Hà has started with Intercontinental Hotel Wellington, working with Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk developing menu for Alkina Lodge along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, delivering nourishing and fresh menus to clients.

He believes that cooking, eating and sharing should be an experience, not just a meal. He created OTAO Kitchen as an extension of his passion for food and to share this passion with others. Food plays an important role in his Vietnamese culture heritage and is central to his family life. Sharing a meal with family and loved ones is a traditional and happy experience. He wishes to extend this experience to you and welcome you to OTAO Kitchen.

OTAO Kitchen is named after Ông Táo, the Vietnamese Kitchen God. Ông Táo is regarded as the advocate of Vietnamese families to the gods and a messenger between Heaven and Earth. In preparation of a prosperous year, Vietnamese families clean their homes and polish their silver. During the New Year celebrations, Ông Táo comes to serve as the Kitchen God to Vietnamese families. As the old year ends, he flys back to Heaven on a magic carp reporting on each family’s life and experiences over the past year to the Jade Emperor, the King of Heaven. Ông Táo is regarded as a family member and various prayers and offerings are brought to him at the family altar. Through our cooking classes, OTAO Kitchen offers an amazing opportunity to further understand the culture, food and cooking of Vietnam right here.

Today Otao Kitchen aims to increase the accessibility of healthy food options and to build awareness of Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Balinese, South India and Srilanka cooking and cuisine in this regard. Our cooking classes offer you an intelligent, thoughtful and authentic cooking experience. One that is fun, adventurous and suitable for people of all ages, teams, work party, backgrounds and levels of cooking skills. The skills you will learn are fully transferable to your own kitchen and we look forward to hearing and seeing what you create at home after the class.