Hyatt’s Good Taste Series Asia-Pacific round-up: Japanese and Chinese chefs go through to grand finals
Six chefs from Hyatt’s Asia-Pacific properties battled it out in Hong Kong in front of a panel of star judges including Paul Pairet and Margarita Forés to determine who would be going to Chicago to take on the world’s best
Two young cooks – one from Japan, one from China – will be going to Chicago next year after winning the Hyatt hotel chain’s first Good Taste Series culinary competition for Asia-Pacific.
The competition, for Hyatt chefs, took place on October 30 in the demonstration kitchen of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin.
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It was judged by a panel of eight that included Paul Pairet, who recently won a third Michelin star for his Ultraviolet restaurant in Shanghai; Margarita Forés from the Philippines, who was honoured as Asia’s best female chef in 2016 by UK-based Restaurant magazine; Vicky Lau, who received the same honour in 2015 and who holds one Michelin star for Tate, her restaurant in Hong Kong’s Central district; and Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya’s in Sydney.
Contestants had to prepare two dishes – one hot and one cold – using ingredients from a “Black Box”, which included a whole sea bass, fresh scallops, lamb saddle, chanterelle mushrooms, celeriac and yuzu.
Tomoya Sugizaki, chef de partie at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, took first prize for his two dishes: cured sea bass and scallops with fresh celery soup, apple and fennel; and a hot dish of roasted lamb saddle with seared purple mustard leaf, pickled yellow chanterelles and mustard sauce. Both were praised for their elegance, beauty and flavour.
Jack Jia Yuebo, Western sous chef at the Park Hyatt Beijing, came in second, receiving high marks for his creativity and cooking skills. Of the six contestants, he was the only one to use the lamb for the cold dish (Xinjiang-style smoked lamb carpaccio) and the seafood for the main (wok-fried Sichuan peppery sea bass and flambéed scallops).
The runners-up – each of whom had already beaten out other contestants in regional competitions – were Oscar Lau Yuk-leung from the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong; Dicky Toh from the Grand Hyatt Melbourne; Damien Selme from the Park Hyatt Busan; and Muhammad Hazwan Md Hamdan from the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.
The contestants were judged primarily on their dishes’ taste and presentation, with their skills in the kitchen – hygiene, mise en place and technical skills – also counting towards the final score. At the Good Taste Series grand finals in Chicago, Sugizaki and Jia will compete against regional winners from Europe and North America.