Tony Hsieh’s ground-breaking book for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Reading about Tony Hsieh’s downward mental spiral leading up to his death forced me to re-examine my own life and my idea about success and happiness. Tony, a man who was tremendously successful as the CEO of Zappos, and whose personal brand was to “deliver happiness,” unfortunately battled with loneliness, depression and drug abuse in the last moments of his life. His passing is a clear example of how success does not necessarily equate to happiness.

After the wake-up call from Tony’s death, I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching, keeping my head down to read books, listen to podcasts…


When asked “What does it mean to be Vietnamese?“, the talented chef Peter Cuong Franklin answered:

Courtesy of Chef Peter Cuong Franklin’s Instagram account.

“Being Vietnamese means appreciating our heritage and culture. It’s a modern identity that is respectful, proud, open-minded and connected to Vietnam and kindred spirits from around the world. My experience living abroad for many years in America, London, Hong Kong, and now back in Saigon, helps me appreciate our Vietnamese way of life all the more.”

I now wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments, but unlike him, as of six months ago, I was still utterly confused about my identity after the years I spent…


Growing up in Hanoi, Vietnam, I never actually learnt how to cook Vietnamese food. I did learn to appreciate the beauty of Vietnamese cuisine — always filling, savoury yet fresh — from my parents’ cooking and the wide range of street food available at every corner of my city. I was at odds with myself when I went to boarding school in America, as even the most authentic Vietnamese restaurants could never really satisfy my cravings for the taste of home. …


A Culinary Extravaganza: A Review of St Andrews Day Dinner

On November 29th, 2018, The Fine Food and Dining Society was cordially invited to attend St Andrews Day Dinner, a glamorous night in the stunning ballroom of The Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa organised by Savour St Andrews. The dinner gathered the best chefs in and around St Andrews to create a spectacular atmosphere for the dinner celebration. The guests were welcomed with a drinks reception ranging from the delicious “Love Potion” cocktails by The Adamson, to unique pints by St Andrews Brewing Co., to refreshing soft drinks by Bon Accord Soft Drinks.

Several canapés made by Duncan…


At my university in Scotland, people often assume that I’m American. If you’d mistaken me for an American four years ago, I would have been flattered, but now, I’m not so sure. When asked where I’m from now, I would always respond that no, I’m in fact Vietnamese, but I also follow up by saying yes, I did go to boarding school in America for four years.

I have usually daydreamed about my experience in both the United States and in Vietnam for the past few years, but I could never have imagined that constantly navigating two different environments that…


On Sunday, November 4th, 2018, Chefs’ Taster Lunch was organised by Savour St Andrews at the famed Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland. The event brought together top chefs from acclaimed establishments around St Andrews to present the best dishes they had to offer. As the PR rep of The Fine Food and Dining Society of the University of St Andrews, I was tasked with reviewing the event and was really excited by the large number of restaurants and establishments present.

The event came with an unbeatable price of £5 for three dishes; by the time I finished visiting…

Ella Dao

Student at University of St Andrews in Scotland. Aspiring food critic and lifestyle blogger.

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