Believe it or not, I don’t get invited to a lot of foodie events. I don’t mean the potlucks — I usually know about those. I mean the press events. Recently I recently came to the conclusion that I don’t receive many invites because I don’t actually write about the events on my blog. Maybe that’s because the events themselves aren’t always all that interesting. Fortunately this celebrity chef showdown hosted by Malaysia Kitchen proved me wrong. The line-up was terrific, there were live demos by each of the chefs (making their interpretation of Malaysian rendang), we got to taste everyone’s dish, and finally we voted for the best creation. Now that’s my idea of a good time (I’m such a food geek). In fact the event interested me so much, this was where I got inspired to make the beef rendang for Jackie and Ken’s Tiger Beer Chinese New Year Potluck. Kelly Choi hosted, and after we watched a demo on how to make traditional rendang, here’s how things went down…
Spoiler alert — Angelo Sosa won the competition with this rendang. It was really good, but the only reason I’m not sure he should have won it is because you were supposed to rate on creativity, and this seemed kind of straight-forward to me. But taste-wise, Sosa nailed it, and he’s always an audience favorite.
I was betting on Anita Lo from the start. She took things to another level with not one but two components — unfortunately for me (and likely everyone else attending), her second dish (a tartare in a soup spoon) wasn’t served with the main dish, and so the whole side-by-side effect was lost. This was really tasty though, and Anita should have been a contender.
Dale Talde also took creativity to the extreme. Maybe too extreme. I enjoyed watching him turn lemongrass into powder with some nitrous oxide and a blender, but as pretty as this turned out, I’m still not sure how it’s supposed to be rendang.
On any other day I would have been happy to eat a nice, big bowl of Shaun Hergatt’s rendang, but in this competition, I think he played it way too safe.
Todd English really likes to talk to a crowd. have to give him a big vote for creativity with this meat-within-a-meatball creation. This was really tasty, but I think he pushed it a little bit too far for the audience to appreciate it.
Zak Pelaccio killed it (that’s a good thing). Damn, he should have won. I’m not sure the photo does it justice, but trust me, this was amazing. Sadly, I’m told the rendang they serve at Fatty Crab is not the same as this, but now I’m curious to stop by and try the menu version anyway because Zak really knows his stuff.