Hsiung and I met when I was living in Sydney, where he still lives.
This passionate about food and cooking regularly organizes Tapas and Wine nights. The concept is quite simple : five teams prepare five tapas dishes in their chosen food category of either poultry, red meat, seafood, vegetarian, and dessert. Each team will have only 45 mins in the kitchen to prepare and serve. Talk about pressure as you're cooking for at least 50 people! As if it wasn't enough, your dish will also receive a mark according to certain criterias !
Actually that is everything Hsiung likes : a bit of pressure, a challenge, the search of creativity and a friendly atmosphere!
As for me, I felt too impressed by the concept and the number of attendees to participate. That's why we decided instead to do our own contest. We determined some set ingredients and some forbidden ones, for a 3 courses meal. We both cooked a 3-courses-dinner that we served together to ten of our friends. Two different styles : improvisation and «joyeux bordel» against precision and method! Whereas I am literally unable to follow a recipe, I was impressed by Hsiung's precision and perfectionism.
What are your culinary sources of inspiration?
Watching others enjoy a food type or dish for the very first time. The reaction on their face makes me envious that I could experience that food sensation once again for the very first time. Hence, why I am also in search of new dishes and new tastes. No matter how good a dish is I rarely repeat it unless it is for guess. There is just too many unknowns in the world of food for me to cook the same thing again.
A cooking tip?
Buy a oven thermostat and a few egg timers (or a phone app egg timer). Two essentially tools for the pedantically forgetful.
A last minute dish?
Mi Goreng instant noodles. Heavenly, considering it takes 3 minutes to make.
A dish you cannot resist to?
Any crispy pork belly dish. There is a bagette shop near work that serves Crispy pork belly with Brie and mustard mayo. I can't resist, hence, why I am now 5 kgs fatter since the shop opened up.
The dish you're the most proud of?
Slow roasted beef eye fillet, sliced thinly. Rubbed in wattleseed, salt (heavy), paprika, and dried rosemary ground.The dish is supposed to come out looking like a warm carpaccio, but is salty and full of flavour.
Proud because it was an accidental creation...