Supreme Asian Chefs Culinary Battles

Sunday, March 1, 2014, AsianInNY brought 100 people to Atlantic City for the Supreme Asian Chefs Culinary Battles. It is the second year of culinary battles hosted by Caesars Entertainment.

It is very exciting to feature six East Coast Chefs:

Dongchan Lee, the Executive Chef at Barn Joo in NYC. He came from a restaurant family in Seoul, Korea. Dongchan was then trained at the French Culinary Institute in NYC. He worked at some top restaurants of the city, including Picholine and Masa, which both have Michelin guide stars.

Dongchan Lee

Luo Jiang Yong is the Head Chef at Jane G’s Restaurant in Philadelphia. Jane G is well known for their authentic Szechuan dishes. Chef Luo gained his knowledge, and skills of Szechuan cuisine from working in restaurants in Beijing and Chengdu, Sichuan.

Luo Jiang Yong

Jay Cho is a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and a graduate from the California School of Culinary Arts. Although still a student, Jay already had many experiences, such as in Vancouver, Canada as a Chef de Partie at the Glowbal Restaurant Group and Bin 941, as a First Cook at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, and a Chef/Owner at Coma Food Truck. Jay also had experiences at the Ritz-Calton Hotel in Seoul, Korea, and at Providence restaurant in Los Angeles.

Jay Cho

There’s also the Founder and Executive Chef, Jenny Wang, at I forgot It’s Wednesday Supper Club. It’s a weekly 5-course dinner paired with wine and cocktails. Other than a private chef, Jenny is also a business consultant, a food writer and blogger. Her ultimate goal is to influence people’s relationship with food, so they develop better lifestyles with a deeper appreciation for their body, community and environment.

Jenny Wang

Chul Kee Ko, a French-trained Chef, has previously worked for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and headed Buddha Bar’s kitchen in D.C. He was introduced to Asian cooking through his parents’ restaurant in Seoul, Korea where he didn’t always consider following their footsteps. Realizing there is no harm in learning more kinds of cuisines, and also as an Asian himself, he decided to work at Fushimi Restaurants.

Chul Kee Ko

David Park is a Sous Chef at The Storefront Company in Chicago, Illinois. After he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, he had experiences at Tru, L20, Alinea and Le Bernardin. Back in Chicago, David worked under Chef Takashi Yagihashi. In the future, he hopes to open his own restaurant, possibly in Chicago that defines his own cooking and helps push Korean cuisine forward.

David Park

The night started out to be very relaxed. Delicious Asian fusion food was served. There were dumplings, lamb on sticks, bread-dough wrapped meat, and lettuce wrapped tuna. Along with the delicious food, specialty cocktails and TY-KU Sake were served. When the judges were introduced that was when we felt the real battle was starting.

Diane Henderiks

Diane Henderiks was the host of the show. She has great knowledge of cooking, as she is a personal chef, a registered dietitian, and a cookbook author. Her culinary talents have also been featured in many magazines and television shows. The judges included Justin Antiorio, Barbie Marshall, Joe Poon, and Keith Mitchell.

Chef Justin Antiorio

These judges are all representatives from the East Coast. Chef Justin Antiorio is the 2012 Season 10 runner-up from “Hells Kitchen” and is currently a chef at Bin 14 in Hoboken, NJ.

Chef Barbie Marshall

Chef Barbie Marshall is a chef at Green Meadow Farm, where she wants to pursue her passion for sustainable foods and healthy cooking.

Chef Joe Poon

Master Chef Joe Poon is a returning Judge from last year’s culinary battles at Caesars. He is an Asian culinary ambassador through Philadelphia’s Chinatown; he is well known for his Asian Fusion Cuisine.

Chef Keith Mitchell

Lastly, Chef Keith Mitchell is Caesar Entertainment’s very own chef. Keith has participated in James Beard House in 2013 and has also cooked twice for the President of the United States.

Let’s talk about the battle. The five main points that the judges were looking for were: appearance/presentation, flavor/taste, creativity/originality, use of the mystery basket, and lastly the overall score of the dish.

The mystery basket

Aren’t you excited about what’s in the mystery basket? The mystery basket set the twist in the battle, and it consisted of ingredients that were beneficial or troublesome to the chef’s original thoughts of what they planned to cook. So, for this 2014 Supreme Asian Chefs Culinary Battles, the mystery basket consisted of sea bass, wild mushroom, and eggs. These were the three must-use ingredients in the battle, and also in the baskets were cilantro, prosciutto, and shrimp, which could be incorporated in the dish but weren’t mandatory.

Each of the six chefs had an hour to complete their dish. Each chef started seven minutes after the starting time of the previous chef. Dongchan Lee was the first to start. Although Chef Dongchan started with some trouble, where his pan wasn’t heating, he did manage to wow the judges with his bunches of grapes heated with butter and white wine on a pan. The white wine brought the sweetness of the grapes out, and made the grapes a great essence of his plate both visually and to the palette.

Second was Luo Jiang Yong, he incorporated his Szechuan cuisine skills into this dish. He used the hot pepper chicken technique. Instead of chicken, he used sea bass, which was the must-use ingredient, fried with the dried peppers. Along side, he also made wontons with chili oil.

Chef Jay pushed his creativity; he had an Italian-Korean style in his dish. Other than sea bass, he made miso fermented pork, and a roasted potato and mushroom pancake.

Chef Jenny’s had a great balance. She had wonton, sea bass, pork belly, and wild mushroom in a broth. The tendered sea bass and delicate wonton with yolk inside got some great feedback.

Next was Chef Chul Kee Ko. His knife skill amazed the judges. The setting of the plate had a French style to it, but he did incorporate a lot of Asian essence in it where he used ginger, and Korean chicken paste.

Lastly, David Park almost didn’t make it to put his broth in his dish, because of a misunderstanding of timing. Of course, he was then able to put his broth into it. He wanted to give a smoky feeling to the dish, he put a little of everything in it, sesame, jasmine rice, cilantro, onion, and of course sea bass as the main ingredient along side with a boiled egg, and wild mushroom in a broth.

Jay Cho and David Park

All of the six Chefs are winners of the East Coast. Their passions, experiences, and creativities of cooking were shown in their dish. They are all wonderful chefs with their own defined style. The final winners were Jay Cho and David Park. Their unbelievable creativities and detail oriented skills gained them the winning spots. There, they will continue in Vegas to compete with the Chefs of the West. Congratulations to them, Jay and David!

The 2014 Supreme Asian Culinary Battle was an intense, exciting experience for the Chefs and for the audiences. Overall, it was an enjoyable night, thank you for Caesar Entertainment for hosting this event where many Asian fusion foods were served. The specialty cocktails and TY-KU Sake were great with keeping the audiences relaxed in this intense battle.

Jay Cho, Diane Henderiks, David Park

2014 Supreme Asian Culinary Battle 6 chefs

AsianInNY A-Team with Culinary Battles East Coast Winners

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