Two gastronomy contests are scheduled to take place in Taipei from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12 as part of efforts to develop the city into a new culinary capital, the contest organizers said yesterday.
The Taipei Restaurant and Beverage Workers Union (TRBWU) is organizing the events — the second King of Chefs contest and the 2009 International Master Chefs Invitational Tournament — in cooperation with the Taipei City Government.
The two events, to be held at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 2, will follow the culinary climax of the Deaflympics earlier this month, a 350-table banquet that won enthusiastic acclaim from local and foreign athletes and sports administrators, officials said.
“The feast at the end of the Deaflympics, which featured a variety of Taiwanese dishes including beef noodles and stewed pork rice, impressed many foreign athletes and sports officials,” Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said at a press conference promoting the two events. “We believe the two cooking contests will further upgrade Taipei's profile in the culinary world.”
The King of Chefs contest will be the second of its kind co-sponsored by the restaurant workers union and the city government. The first took place in 2007.
During the same period, an international invitational chef contest will be held for the first time, with top-notch chefs from Japan, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan demonstrating their cooking skills, the organizers said.
Participants in this year's King of Chefs contest will be required to prepare dishes using three officially designated ingredients — mackerel, ostrich and US-imported filet mignon — a TRBWU spokesman said.
Mackerel is a speciality of Nanfangao (南方澳) in Yilan County. The competition will test the contestants’ ability to turn a cheap fish into delicious high-end dishes, the spokesman said.
The selection of ostrich is part of efforts to promote the local ostrich industry, which was introduced into Taiwan more than 10 years ago, the spokesman said, adding that the inclusion of US-produced filet mignon is aimed at testing the chefs’ skills in presenting the prime beef normally seen in Western cuisine into Chinese-style delicacies.
In addition to the cooking contests, the event will also exhibit a dazzling array of traditional and innovative Taiwanese delicacies, with creative dishes prepared by 50 local restaurants each day. Visitors will be treated to a free bowl of sesame oil chicken each afternoon.
In addition, demonstrations of culinary skills, including ice sculpture, noodle pulling, sugar pulling, a knife show and fashion shows featuring costumes made of food, will also be staged each day.
Visitors to the event will be presented with an assortment of gifts and will have the chance to win round-trip tickets to Thailand. Admission will be NT$150 with a 20 percent discount for those who purchase tickets via 7-Eleven's i-bon system.
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