The team from Kaohsiung’s “Bite 2 Eat” stood out from a star-studded field of 16 competing teams of chefs at the Taiwan preliminary competition of the United Tastes of America – Asian Chef Challenge, which was held in Taipei on March 26. Head judge Alan Palmer, an honorary member of the World Association of Chefs Societies, commented “The “Bite 2 Eat” makes a mark on every dish – from appetizer to soup, main course, and dessert, and it performed consistently well throughout the four-course menu.”
“Bite 2 Eat” team leader Edward Lee said, “The biggest challenge is that we didn’t know what the mandatory ingredients would be until one day ahead of the competition.” To manage this challenge, the team practiced frequently, using their best guess of possible U.S. food ingredients. When asked about the most surprising ingredient, the team answered, “It must be Wisconsin ginseng. But we figured it out by applying it into the cream-based cauliflower soup so it wouldn’t overpower the whole dish but would develop an aftertaste of ginseng’s unique, subtle sweetness.”
The list of fifteen mandatory ingredients utilized by the team included U.S. rib eye beef, U.S. Boston butt pork, U.S. chicken drumsticks, California walnuts, U.S. pears, Sunkist oranges, Sunkist lemons, Monterey Jack cheese, California cream cheese, California purple black raisins, Wisconsin ginseng roots, medium grain rice, Idaho’s dehydrated mashed potato, and U.S. dried cranberries.
The “Bite 2 Eat” team will represent Taiwan, facing off against the other winning chefs teams from Japan, China, and Hong Kong at the United Tastes of America – Asian Chef Challenge Grand Finale at the USA Pavilion during the Taipei International Food Show in June 2013. The winning team will be invited to attend Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival at The Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley.
In addition to the championship award for “Bite 2 Eat”, the award for the Best Appetizer went to the team from Shin Yeh Restaurant, the Best Soup award went to the Kaiping Culinary School team, the award for the Best Main course went to the chefs from Sherwood Hotel Taipei, and the Best Dessert award went to the team from the Grand Hotel.
Menu Created By Champion Chef Team “Bite 2 Eat”
Seared U.S. Rib Eye Carpaccio, California Caramel Walnuts, Sunkist Lemon and Orange Jelly, Red Wine Vinegar With Olive Oil, Crispy Chips, Mix Vegetables
Cream of Cauliflower, Wisconsin Ginseng Root and U.S. Medium Grain Rice Soup with U.S. Monterey Jack Cheese and U.S. Chicken Drumstick Dumpling
Slow Braised U.S. Boston Butt Pork served with Idaho Dehydrated Mashed Potato, Red Wine Sauce and Stewed Washington Pear, California Purple Black Raisin, Stir-fried Red & Yellow Pepper, Stir-fried Green Bean and Stir-fried Leek and Italian Parsley Chips
Caramel Sunkist Lemon and U.S. Cream Cheese Mousse served with Red Wine U.S. Cranberry Sauce and Sunkist Orange Jelly Tiles with Mango Sauce