Cristina Mas: Hy Vong in Love

A Spring (Roll) Fling…

Can you have your spring rolls and eat them too? I certainly tried. I had the opportunity to take a cooking class with Hy Vong during the South Beach Food and Wine Festival and even three months later still dreaming about it. I’m also secretly hoping I get to produce this same event next year! I’m now completely devoted to the cookbook authored by head chef Kathy Manning.In the book, my favorite Hy Vong specialty is titled simply “spring rolls” but for my version I’m working on a more salacious name that more accurately conveys their highly addictive qualities. These are literally a party in your mouth.

I have been a fan of Hy Vong since 2003 when my best friend Genesis took me with her entire family. They were constantly talking about it and as foodies I had to go. We would go at 5pm so that we wouldn’t have to stand in the very long line and they NEVER let you take anything to go. So we always made sure we ate light that day so we could stuff our faces with a bite of almost every dish. When they closed, we were devastated! But lucky for us Genny had built a relationship with Manning and her team and we’ve been able to enjoy her delicious meals for birthdays and special family occasions at our homes.

So fast forward to this year’s Food & Wine Festival, as we were setting out I found out from Debra Lundy I was producing the cooking class with Hy Vong, I was elated. To say I’m a fan of the Hy Vong is an understatement. On top of that, I hadn’t eaten these creations in years. And for this occasion, they orchestrated the perfect meal: spring rolls, pumpkin soup and beef with noodles. The Kitchen by Norman Van Aken was also the perfect spot for this intimate cooking class for 16 people.

While I watched and tried to learn how to make spring rolls, I secretly just wanted to eat them all. Except it’s not a secret. When they came out of the fryer, I ate as many as I could without burning my mouth entirely. Then I took a photo and sent it immediately to Genesis. She was proud.

Photos by PhilNice Creative

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