Asia Society Texas Center

Vietnam Travelogue: A Journey through Food and Photography

Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2019 – Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2019

06:15 PM – 07:30 PM


Photo courtesy of Catherine Karnow

Vietnam is a lushly scenic country with vibrant vistas, incredible food, and rich history. Houston, home to one of the U.S.'s largest Vietnamese populations, offers a wealth of connections to this seemingly faraway country.

Asia Society invites you to explore the culture of Vietnam through an evening of food and photography, and to learn what makes Vietnam so unique and memorable. Join renowned Houston chef Nicole Routhier of Le Colonial and world-traveling National Geographic photographer Catherine Karnow for a conversation about their personal and professional experiences in Vietnam.

Light bites will be served following the program.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019
6:15 p.m. Registration
6:30 p.m. Program

About the Speakers

Catherine Karnow, a San Francisco-based photographer, born and raised in Hong Kong, is known for her emotional and sensitive style of photographing people. She graduated Brown University with honors in comparative literature and semiotics. A notable life project has been her 29-years of photography of Vietnam. In 1994, she was the only non-Vietnamese photojournalist to accompany General Giap on his historic first return to the forest encampment in the northern Vietnam highlands from which he plotted the battle of Dien Bien Phu. In 2014, she was the subject of a 'Talk Vietnam’ documentary on her friendship and coverage of General Giap, watched by over 10 million people around the world. Since 1990, Catherine has documented Vietnamese families and children affected with Agent Orange; her photographs and film, A Terrible Legacy, won numerous awards and led to real change. Her 2015 exhibition, Vietnam 25 Years Documenting a Changing Country, opened at the Art Vietnam gallery in Hanoi; her book of the same name is available in bookstores worldwide. Her work has appeared in National GeographicNational Geographic TravelerSmithsonian, and other international publications. Catherine's passion for photography carries into her love for teaching. She gives private workshops and seminars all over the world; her own signature workshops in Italy, Vietnam-Cambodia and South India are unique in the roster of photography workshops.

Nicole Routhier was born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese restaurateur mother and a French father. Nicole began cooking at a young age, and later moved to Hyde Park, NY to study at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Shortly before graduating in 1985, she penned a letter to then New York Times food editor, Craig Claiborne, about the lack of authentic Vietnamese cuisine in New York, and received a surprise invitation to Claiborne’s home to cook a traditional Vietnamese dinner for a group of culinary luminaries, including Jacques Pépin. Soon after, Nicole accepted the sous chef position at the flagship site of Manhattan-based Sarabeth’s, where she remained through a promotion to executive chef before leaving to begin research for The Foods of Vietnam, her first cookbook. She later went on to author Cooking Under Wraps and Nicole Routhier’s Fruit CookbookThe Foods of Vietnam received a Julia Child Award for best American cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 1990. Her second book, Cooking Under Wraps, earned the Julia Child Award for best single subject, and Nicole Routhier’s Fruit Cookbook was a James Beard Award nominee for best single subject. Nicole is currently the culinary director for Le Colonial Houston restaurant.

About the Moderator

Dai Huynh is an award-winning writer who boarded the last ship to leave Saigon on April 30, 1975. The stories about her subjects are driven by a passion to share with her readers the different cultures, diversity, and traditions, old and new, that have helped shape her beloved adopted city, Houston. For Dai, writing is a way to approach people and document what is happening in the present, while also learning about traditions and heritage of the past. Her stories have earned her several Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards, as well as a James Beard Award for Best Features Writing. Right out of college, she landed a position at The Houston Chronicle as a features writer. Later, after earning a culinary degree from Culinary Institute Lenotre, she was promoted to dining editor, a position she held for a decade before accepting a position as a special-projects editor at a national publishing house, specializing in travel magazines. Currently, the Buzz Magazines dining editor is working on a coffee-table book for a noted Napa Valley winery.

Asia Society Texas Center Business & Policy Programs, Endowed by

Huffington Foundation

Business and Policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Bank of America, Muffet Blake, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and United Airlines. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Houston Endowment. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.


  • Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Closed Mondays and major holidays
  • Free Hours: Admission to the building and Grand Hall exhibition is free. Admission to the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery is free for Asia Society members; $8 for nonmembers.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Parking in Asia Society Texas Center's lot is $5 for 1-24 hours. Entrances on Caroline and Austin. Limited free and paid street parking also available.

Special Offers / Dining

An India-Inspired Café
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at Pondi! Pondicheri's museum café is open for extended lunch hours Tuesday through Sunday with a vibrant and innovative menu featuring everything from butter chicken to saffron shrimp salad and roti wraps.
Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm


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