Ngô Thanh Hoà – a person who inspires me with some life lessons to learn

This entry is dedicated to Ngô Thanh Hoà, my favourite candidate in MasterChef Vietnam competition this year.

I have been following MasterChef Vietnam since episode 4 or maybe 5 I can’t remember, when all the candidates had been chosen. From time to time, I finally “shortlisted” some of the best participants for me that I like, I love, I admire. However, for the one to win MasterChef Vietnam this year, there must be only one person, and I hope that person will be Mr. Thanh Hoa. He is the ideal candidate for the MasterChef position.

Reasoning for this, I have a lot to say. What I see in this man, and I think lots of other people can see, is his unbeatable power. He has demonstrated his passion, his magnificent ability to cook in every single round with a very stable, always-in-the-top level. Everyone in the contest considers him to be a very big competitor, the judges continually give him compliments. However, do we like someone just because they are really talented? I don’t think so. Simply being in the final Top 6 is not a sufficient reason for my favour over this incredible man.

What actually convinced me is his leadership as well as the spirit of a team player. He looks very likeable by appearance, and what he has shown through his work in the team confirms that he is the exact ideal person that any team will want to possess. Watching how he allocates tasks within a team, how he communicates with other fellows, how he responds to others’ comments, I can tell for sure anyone who knows him will describe him as a “reliable, responsible, experienced, trustworthy, determined, confident, patient, persistent” person ( Do I miss any adjective there? 🙂


Talent, commitment and good personality – overly perfect for the MasterChef position, we may say. I would take it for granted that he has been performing excellently like that from the beginning. Not until yesterday did my friend tell me about his initial failure in round 1, and I was totally taken aback.”What? He failed????” Unbelievable huh.

Just because I didn’t watch MC from the beginning, I was not aware of that. How come such a talented person wasn’t chosen right from the start? And how did he make his way through to Top 6 now?

Another lesson is there for us to learn.

I decided to search for the very first episodes to find our what happened. And here it is: (This tells us fully about what happened with uncut scenes)

I won’t comment about his ability, which is already obvious. Everyone bangs on about his talent. What I want to stress is how he convinced the judges, and how he believed in himself.

If he were like any other, he would give up desperately, blaming for the bad luck or the bad taste of the judges, then come home to go on with his life, maybe waiting for next year competition. But what makes him different from other people is that he didn’t give up, he didn’t surrender. He was in control of the situation, rather than under the situation’s control. In rules, there’s always some exceptions. And Hoa is one of the most exceptional exceptions I’ve ever known. Lots of other people will envy him because they didn’t have a second chance, but how many are confident that they can turn that chance into gold? Only a few, I reckon.

We often say that we want something badly and we try our best to get hold of it, that we believe we have the ability, but all too often we give up too soon. Desperately looking for a job and can’t find one, do you keep trying or just get bored and blame the recruiters for not realizing your potentials? Getting cheated on by your boyfriend, do you go find your true half or just sitting still and asking why life treats you so bad? Want to get a scholarship to study abroad, do you give up after several times being turned down on or keep searching until you succeed? Do you think of what you want every night before you sleep? Do you reasonably believe that you have the capability to get what you want, and it just hasn’t happened YET but someday it will?

It is undeniable that some people are luckier than others, and you may blame for just being unlucky. But I believe everything happens for a reason. Research has shown that unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition when making a decision, they always follow the routine and are reluctant to break the rules, and they see things as the worst of the worsts. I believe that Thanh Hoa is somehow lucky, but what or who, if not himself, makes him so lucky ? He was lucky because he dared to stand up for recognition, he dared to take a different path and he dared to believe in a second chance. He was lucky FOR SOME REASONS. What seemed bad now turns out terrific. We ourselves can change the way we think and the way we behave to be lucky and happy like that. In other words, let’s put ourselves out of our comfort zone and enjoy the luck streaming in.

Behind the cooking talent, there’s so much to learn from this talented and humble man.

P/S: Again, thank you, Thanh Hoa, for coming to MasterChef and inspiring so many people including me. I was brought to tears when you got two Yeses from the judges, and I hope you can make us cry one more time in the Final round with the trophy in your hands. All the best for you and your family!



  1. Ngô Thanh Hoà · June 16, 2013

    Dear Michelle,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for what you are sharing with everyone who are interesting & watching MasterChef Vietnam about me.

    Every word is so wonderful & meaningful.

    While I’m reading this, everything is coming back of what happened from the beginning of the competition. It is a wonderful journey so far & learnt a lots about cooking skills, made new friendship. Also, now this is a great opportunity to meet all young Vietnamese who are living around the world & share one thing in common which is about foods.

    In our life, we always need to fight for what we want & don’t give up in any situation. I hope that what I have done so far to motivate & inspire everyone in many ways.

    Once day, I hope that I can share with everyone about foods & life experience more.

    Once again, thank you Michelle for all beautiful words that you wrote about me. It’s one of the most wonderful presents.

    Ngô Thanh Hoà

    • Michelle Tran · June 16, 2013

      Finally you can read this. I do hope you continue your journey with that extraordinary passion and talent. I look forward to visiting your own restaurant and meeting up with you in a very near future. If what I wrote is something that brings more power and motivation to you, I would be extremely happy 🙂 Thanks, Chef 🙂

  2. haketu · June 16, 2013

    wooaaa so many sharesss !

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