Our story

Otao kitchen was launched in “little Vietnam”, Victoria Street Richmond, in July 2014, with the goal of celebrating the rich and varied cooking experiences of Melbourne’s immigrant Asian communities. Its founder, Chef Ha Nguyen, originally from Hanoi shares his passion for food, instructing customers in the exotic diaspora of Asian and around the world cuisine. Today you can enjoy to meet different chefs and cooks and listen to their cooking and travel experiences in Asia and around the world. With the nods at the diversity of communities within Melbourne, Otao kitchen features an array of food experiences on Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Dumplings, Indian, Korean, Indonesian, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Mexican cuisines and more. Otao kitchen added the catering business in 2017 and introduced food tours in late 2018.

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. 

Otao Kitchen aims to increase the accessibility of healthy food options with hands on cooking. Our cooking classes offer you an intelligent, thoughtful and authentic cooking experience - that is fun, adventurous and suitable for people of all ages, teams, work party, backgrounds or 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.