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Friday, May 17, 2013
Michael Cheng won the top prize at the Western Cuisine Professional Lamb Loin category at the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic 2013 (Hofex edition) in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
The 28-year old’s winning dish in the region’s leading food and hospitality trade show was Pistachio Pesto Cap Sous-Vide Lamb Medallion, Rioja-Glace de Viande, Lemon Chantilly, Caramelized Butternut Squash Ravioli, Cherry Tomato and Lima Bean Confit, Champignon and Pearl Onion Preserved.
Cheng also surprised the judges with the many cooking techniques he employed in a single dish—sous vide, confit, grilled, pan-seared, sautéed, preserved, reduced and blanched.
This got the approval of the judges, who awarded him the gold.
“I jumped for joy when I saw the gold card beside my display plate,” said the ecstatic Cheng, who started practicing for the competition in February. This was his first time to win in an international competition. In Manila, he won silver for his Modern Pinoy dish at Kumbira 2011.
This was also the first for CCA-Manila to win gold in a foreign culinary tilt.
Cheng bested other entries from Taiwan, Mongolia and Canada.
Entries were judged according to correct professional presentation, arrangement, taste, mise-en-place and cleanliness. The competitors were to prepare three portions of one-plated main course within 60 minutes. Each was given a 500-g lamb loin fillet as the main ingredient. The accompaniments and garnishes to complement the dish were the competitor’s choice.
The taste was the crucial criterion. It must have appropriate seasoning. In quality, flavor and color, the dish must conform to today’s standards of nutritional values.
Hollywood star Vin Diesel and other cast of “Fast and Furious 6″ wowed Pinoy fans in a meet and greet to promote the 6th installment of the film at the SM Mall of Asia.
Joining Diesel in Manila are co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and Luke Evans.
“Mahal ko kayo. I love Manila. I love you all so much. We are so proud to do the first Hollywood premiere [of the franchise] here in the Philippines,” Diesel said.
“I can feel the love from you. I think this is the best place I’ve ever been to in my life,” Diesel added.
The film’s producer, Neil Moritz, was also present at the reception.
“Who knows, someday we may shoot here,” he said.
Moritz said he loves Filipino food, calling it the best he’s ever had.
Meanwhile, Evans serenaded the crowd with a few lines from the Philippine ballad, “Kailangan Kita.”
Evans learned how to sing the Tagalog song after visiting the country 10 years ago.
He said he also has many Filipino friends who were part of the musical “Miss Saigon” in London, where a lot of Asian characters were played by Filipino performers.
Evans said he even met with some of his Filipino friends as soon as he arrived in Manila Tuesday night.
Rodriguez echoed her co-stars’ sentiments, saying “I love you Manila, I just love you, you are so beautiful.”
After the meet and greet, some members of the media had the chance to watch the premiere sponsored by GBX in partnership with Solar Entertainment.
“Fast and Furious 6″ is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on May 24.
(Story by Reyma Buan-Deveza, ABS-CBNnews.com)