Commis chef wins Hyatt Good Taste Series Asia-Pacific cooking competition
- The competition was open to all Hyatt chefs below the level of executive chef
- Sebong Oh from the Grand Hyatt Seoul won first place, and the Park Hyatt Hangzhou’s Lily Liu took second
In a competition that took place on Monday, Sebong Oh, a commis chef at the Steakhouse at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, and Lily Liu, executive sous chef of Forty8 at the Park Hyatt Hangzhou, won the top two spots at the Hyatt hotel chain’s The Good Taste Series Asia-Pacific finals, and will be going on to the global finals in Singapore in March 2019.
The competition is open to all Hyatt chefs under the level of executive chef. Regional finals take place across the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and since last year, Asia-Pacific.
Oh won the top spot, and Liu, one of two women in the competition, came in as first runner-up, in the awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin. They competed against four other chefs, drawn from 340 competitors from Hyatt properties in the Asia-Pacific region. Last year’s winner, Tomoya Sugizaki from the Park Hyatt Tokyo, presented the trophy to Oh.
Each contestant had to prepare two dishes, one cold, the other hot, using ingredients from a “black box”, the contents of which were revealed the night before: langoustines, venison, kohlrabi and porcini mushrooms. They were judged on hygiene, mise en place [preparation] and technical skills, but most of the points were for taste and presentation.
Oh’s cold dish was steamed langoustine with yuzu sauce, fruit jelly, beetroot tuile and roasted porcini, while his hot dish was an inventive and delicious bulgogi-marinated venison, gochujang potato croquette, carrot-ginger purée, Korean braised kohlrabi and pickled asparagus.
Liu’s dishes showcased European classical technique, with a cold dish of langoustine with crustacean jelly, parsley mayonnaise and pickled kohlrabi, and a hot dish of slow-cooked venison loin, porcini ravioli and celeriac purée.
There was a panel of eight judges, including Vicky Lau, named Asia’s 50 Best female chef 2015, and whose restaurant Tate, in Central, has one Michelin star; Margarita Fores from the Philippines, who won Asia’s 50 Best female chef 2016; food critic Deng Keping; Dave Pynt, chef-owner of Burnt Ends in Singapore which is #12 on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants; and Myffy Rigby, editor of the Good Food Guide in Australia.
Susan Jung was one of the judges of The Good Taste Series Asia-Pacific finals.