A gastronomy festival featuring delicious dishes from countries throughout the world opened in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 3.

The festival, the city’s largest cultural and gastronomic event this year, aims to honour the cuisine of Vietnam, as well as that of the entire world, and also create opportunities for exchange on food and culture among different nations.

The highlight of the event is a street festival where the story of “banh chung, banh day” (Vietnamese square and round rice cakes) is re-enacted together with music and dance performances by artists from different countries.

From December 3-6, chefs from 17 participating countries, including the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Italy, France, Germany, India, Mexico and Lebanon, will introduce their delicious specialities to visitors.

An international pizza-making contest will be held, and the record for Vietnam’s largest deep-fried sticky-rice patty will be set. Leading chefs from Vietnam and other countries will compete for the “Talent Cook 2009” title./.