In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, I made a vow to realise a life-long dream once the world returned to normalcy. During lockdown, it became apparent that – apart from food – we needed something else to survive: human connection.
One year later, I opened the doors to my supper club ‘Haus of Vo’, where I have made it my mission to connect people over good food. Its name, which drew inspiration from my Vietnamese-German roots, is a fitting nod to the UAE’s rich tapestry of peoples and cultures.
Supper clubs, which have long been made popular in metropolises around the world, are now finding their feet in Dubai. The concept is simple. Home chefs welcome diners – most of whom do not know each other – around a communal table to enjoy a meal while bonding over their love for culinary craftsmanship, their personal stories and, if you’re lucky, some good banter.
Cooking has always been my safe space. I cook to seek refuge from the hectic pace of life, to nurture friendships and to overcome homesickness. I grew up in the kitchen. As the child of restaurateurs, my immigrant parents bestowed upon me the qualities of discipline, loyalty and honour. Cooking brings me closer to them and serves as a reminder to never forget our humble roots.
Combining the two things I love, to connect people over good food, was an obvious match. I discovered the power of cooking in nurturing a community and in sparking meaningful conversations. It is my hope that ‘Haus of Vo’ provides just that; a place for people to connect over fine food with friends and ones that are soon to become.
As the UAE marks its Golden Jubilee, I pause to reflect on the welcoming hospitality this country has extended to me. A nation built on the convergence of cultures, much of its traditions and values are rooted in generosity, courtesy and love for community. Some may know the Emirates as a land of superlatives. I know it as the nation that defies the expected, a land that foreigners call home and a place where (life-long) dreams become reality.
- Madame Vo
About the author:
Lisa Vo is the Creator of ‘Haus of Vo’, a Dubai-based supper club. A self-taught chef of Vietnamese-German roots, she has been proudly calling the UAE home for the last seven years.