After a series of preliminary contests in north, central and south of Taiwan, the finals of 2013 Taiwanese Cuisine Challenge Competition is held in Shih Chien University in Taipei. The western chef Chou Cheng-Lun, chef Liao Jen-Hao and chef Tsai You-Hua won the Excellent Group Award with their outstanding cuisine –flying fish roe, basil and beef cheese roll with sweet pepper sauce and seasonal vegetables, mixed sea foods and fresh vegetable pork roll with mushroom risotto.
Originally, “Taiwanese Cuisine Challenge Competition” was a cooking contest in Taiwan Food Festival. In 2013, Taiwanese Cuisine Challenge Competition is held separately from the Food Festival. The Challenge is supervised by Tourism Bureau and Council of Agriculture and organized by Shih Chien University. This event combined the features of popular dish from “tourist hotel”, “restaurant” and “campus” to create a new exclusive charm of Taiwan. It is hoped to promote Taiwan food and enhance the skill of Taiwanese cooks. The contest is divided into three groups – tourist hotels, restaurants and campus. The scoring criteria for the contest are taste, creativity, heat control, and food sanitation and booth design. Booth design wasn’t included in the criteria in previous contests. The main ingredients are announced on the spot in the “mysterious box”. All the participant teams have to bring out their creativities and make three dished in limited time.
The young and outstanding western chef Chou Cheng-Lun, chef Liao Jen-Hao and chef Tsai You-Hua played an excellent team work and won the Excellent Award by three dishes: “flying fish roe, basil and beef cheese roll with sweet pepper sauce and seasonal vegetables”, “mixed sea foods” and “fresh vegetable pork roll with mushroom risotto”. The “flying fish roe, basil and beef cheese roll with sweet pepper sauce and seasonal vegetables” has kept the original flavor of ingredients. They used rib eye beef which is rich in grease to roll up aromatic cheddar cheese. Served with basil leaves and chewy flying fish roe, the dish provides a multi-level abundant taste. For “Mixed sea foods”, they selected local sea breams, small abalones and monkfish liver and cooked in Japanese style to lock their original flavor. In order to enhance the fresh sweet taste of sea food, the dish is served with spinach sauce and orange sauce. The third dish is the nutritious and delicious “fresh vegetable pork roll with mushroom risotto”. In the challenge, the three chefs held the principle of “respecting the ingredients to make a real delicious dish” and impressed the judges.
The three chefs Chou Cheng-Lun, Liao Jen-Hao and Tsai You-Hua always learn from each other by exchanging cooking skills. They have participated in numerous cooking competitions. They indicated that quick response on-spot and creativities are crucial to the challenge. However, good team work is the main key to success.