Vietnamese-Australian wins first season of MasterChef Vietnam

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Ngo Thanh Hoa, winner of Master Chef Vietnam's first season, raises his cup at the award ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on July 19

Ngo Thanh Hoa defeated Phan Quoc Tri to win the first season of MasterChef Vietnam in the reality show's finale on July 19.

Hoa, a Vietnamese-Australian chef received a cash prize of VND500 million and an opportunity to publish his own cookbook from the show, which was broadcast Friday nights on VTV3 starting last October.

Hoa beat Tri an 18-year-old student and the show's youngest contestant with his preparation of a sautéed shrimp & mango salsa appetizer; fried chicken with citronella and chili served with couscous and raita as the main course; and panna cotta with pineapple jam for dessert.

Tri prepared seafood soup; baked beef with sweet-sour vegetables; and durian soufflé.

Hoa was nearly eliminated during the show's audition phase; and almost quit after a judge said he possessed no passion for cooking.

"I am happy to be the winner of the first season of the Master Chef Vietnam. The victory is a turning point in my life. After this, I might consider opening a restaurant," Hoa, 40, said at the award ceremony. 

Hoa once managed a restaurant in Sydney and is currently a marketing manager for the Unique Design Company in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tri was gracious in defeat. He said losing to Hoa was "an honor," adding that he "learned a lot from him," and that he planned to visit Hoa's restaurant as soon as it opened.

MasterChef Vietnam, co-organized by BHD and VTV3, is an adaptation of the reality show which originated in the UK and has been successful in Australia and the US.

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