Viglo offers Vietnamese Cuisine

By Lauren Titus | June 28, 2016
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Bean thread crab and shrimp noodles

On Wednesday, August 10, 2016 the Jacksonville community will be able to participate in the Viglo dining experience. This event is carefully created as a labor-of-love by Chef Mimi Lan of TasteCurator.com and Executive Chef Mike Thomashunis of Aqua Grill, to be held at Aqua Grill restaurant in Sawgrass Village, Ponte Vedra. The Viglo dinner is a 5-course gourmet Vietnamese-with-global-influences dinner, with Chef Mimi supplementing each dish with cultural and historical commentary. This is an adventure for those willing to step out of their comfort zones of Asian cuisine. “We are excited for this opportunity to have chef Mimi present her first pop-up Viglo dinner at our restaurant,” said Aqua Grill’s proprietor Cary Hart. “We know you will enjoy her gourmet, inventive, delicious Vietnamese fusion foods.”

Menu:
Amuse-bouche: charred shishito peppers in yuzu, topped with bonito flakes
Cocktail: Asian pear martini with palm seed fruit

First Course:
Shrimp Toast - shiitake, Chipotle mayo, chives, onion confit, roasted garlic, touch of sesame oil, on French baguette crostini

Second Course:
Green Papaya Salad - Shredded green papaya, shaved candied shiitake, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, topped with crispy shallots and shrimp cracker - soy vinaigrette

Third Course:
Bean Thread Crab noodle - mung bean, jumbo lump crabmeat, shiitake, asparagus

Fourth Course: Bis of Duck (two tastings)
1) Peking duck - Roasted boneless duck, julienne cucumber, microgreens, hoisin sauce, in a bao bun
2) Duck lo mein - Roasted boneless duck, char siu pork, black mushroom, whole dry chili, julienne carrots, scallion, duck glaze, crispy julienne sweet potato.

Dessert:
Flourless chocolate & Asian pear cake, in a pistachio cookie butter crumb crust.

This dinner will include one-seating promptly at 7pm, with only 40 seats are available. A table can be reserved for a party of at least 6 up to 10 people. A communal table will also be set up for solo diners, as a fun way to meet new friends. Reservations are $75 per person + tax and gratuity, and can be made by calling 904-285-3017 or by stopping at Aqua Grill located at 395 Front St., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32092.

Chef Mimi Lan
Chef Mimi grew up in a Vietnamese foodie family where she made her first foray into the culinary world as a child helping her mom and relatives around the kitchen. Food - the creation, presentation, and consumption - has been ingrained in Mimi since she was little, and the experience gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about Vietnamese food, ingredients, seasonings, and techniques. The Viglo dinner is a 5-course gourmet Vietnamese with global influences dinner, supplementing each dish with cultural and historical commentary. Each Viglo dinner is held at a different venue, and no Viglo dinner menus are repeated.

Vietnamese cooking is about achieving the balance between the use of five elements of spices (ngu vi) to represent the five elements of the earth: spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (earth). Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world because of its use of fresh herbs and vegetables, but many traditional recipes rely on deep-frying for flavor. Chef Mimi prefers roasting, baking, grilling, broiling, braising, searing, steaming and blanching (with fresh, local, whole, organic and unprocessed ingredients) for healthier, more modern versions of classic Vietnamese dishes.

Mimi is inspired by a wide range of culinary adventures, from mind-blowing meals at hole-in-the-wall joints to Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.  Her goal is to combine value, quality and a unique dining experience to elevate the Jacksonville Asian cuisine scene up the stairway of gastronomic respectability.

Mimi is a passionate chefpreneur (TasteCurator.com), creator of Viglo pop-up dinner series and creative + culinary consultant to modern eateries.  Follow her on Instagram @TheTasteCurator.

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