Tommy Pham’s “bánh mì danish” is definitely not your average bánh mì.
When he presented it to the judges during MasterChef’s 2021 series, he was understandably nervous about how they would react. Bánh mì is a wildly popular Vietnamese street food classic and his ambitious reinvention looked like it was really pushing the boundaries.
Luckily, the bánh mì danish had the judges raving and has set the stage for The Bread & Butter Project’s latest collaboration, which involves developing the danish for wider distribution.
What is a “bánh mì danish” you may ask?
Tommy’s fabulously flaky fusion treats are based on a clever combination of traditional bánh mì ingredients like rare roast beef, chili, coriander and spring onion mixed skilfully together with inventive extras like Swiss Brown mushroom pate and truffle oil infused butter. Ribbons of cucumber, carrot and daikon are layered on top to provide a pleasing crunch factor.
And vegetarians will be excited to hear they’re not being left behind. A lemongrass infused oyster mushroom bánh mì danish will also be available for order.
MasterChef judges rave about the bánh mì danish
The verdict of the MasterChef judges was unanimous – Tommy had clearly nailed the challenge with this one. “Fantastic”, “extraordinary cooking” and “I couldn’t fault any of it” were among the accolades he got from judges Mel, Jock and Kate. Working in the kitchens of Melbourne’s Lune Croissanterie, the pastry-based treat was an instant hit and provided lots of promise for what was to come.
As an Aussie with Vietnamese heritage and some impressive bakery credentials under his belt, Tommy is deservedly proud of his latest culinary achievement. While growing up, he worked alongside his mum in a bakery before going on to develop his cooking skills and becoming an accomplished cook.
The bánh mì danish project is just one of the things keeping Tommy busy at the moment. He’s also planning another exciting venture – Salt Sugar Mam which will involve bringing his signature dishes to homes and workplaces via catering, food stalls and private dining experiences.
The Bread & Butter Project collaboration will bring bánh mì danishes to Sydney
Tommy has been 100% on board with The Bread & Butter Project’s mission since coming across the social enterprise bakery on a visit to Carriageworks Market in Sydney. From personal experience, he recognises how important it is for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia to get a break by learning the kinds of hospitality skills The Bread & Butter Project provides.
The overwhelmingly positive social media response to Tommy’s bánh mì danish has given him confidence that the Sydney roll out will be a huge success. His recent Instagram post announcing the idea has notched more than 24,000 views and his fan base were salivating in anticipation of getting their hands on the tantalising treat themselves. “I’ve never filled out a form so fast in my life,” commented one eager follower after the invitation to sign up to a lottery-based pre-order went up.
Partnering with cake and dessert delivery business Cake Hero, Tommy’s bánh mì danishes will soon be distributed to lucky customers around Sydney.
Follow @thebreadandbutterproject and @tommyphameats for baking and bánh mì inspiration and watch this space for more information on how to order Tommy’s delicious bánh mì danishes.