Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Gastronomic Extravaganza

Organisers Joanna Cheng (centre left) and Kendra Chen (centre right) with the judges
While food is a great navigator for interpersonal relationships, the Auckland Taiwanese Business Association took it to another level with the hosting of the Oceania International Master Chef Challenge followed by the Taste Of Taiwan Gala Dinner at the Ellerslie Event Centre.

It’s not very often that you get to be at a culinary fiesta where the chefs present the dishes with such flair and creativity as they did at the 2023 Auckland Taiwan Food Festival. Held after five years, the organisers of the 2023 International Tour of Taiwan Gourmet Cuisines and the Oceania International Master Chef Challenge outdid themselves with the scale and presentation of the culinary event.

Sixty chefs from Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Germany, Vietnamese, Japan and New Zealand, competed to showcase culinary expertise and cooking techniques using local ingredients, at the master chef challenge. Celebrity chefs were flown into New Zealand to judge the event.

Organised by Taiwanese Business Association of New Zealand, along with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Auckland, Taiwanese Junior Business Association of New Zealand and co-sponsored by the Changhua Woman’s Association of New Zealand and the Taiwanese Hwa Hsia Society of New Zealand, guests at the two-day event participated in a range of workshops and live demos led by Taiwanese gold medallist chefs. Visitors had a chance to savour authentic Taiwanese cuisine, explore the trade exhibition that showcased innovative food and lifestyle products as well as have a peek at the gourmet food entries for the master chef challenge.

The Taste of Taiwan Galal Dinner was the highlight of the two-day foodie affair as chefs presented the unique dishes with great flourish. It was a sight to behold as all phones were focussed on photographing the mouth-watering dishes — that included Chrysanthemum Tofu Soup wrapped in lotus, Crispy Golden Shrimp pastry, Garlic flavoured Fish Rolls, Charcoal Grilled Pork Ribs served with greens, a Mixed Platter, Eight

Treasure Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus leaf pastry and Scallops with Chinese Cabbage Shrimp Pastry.

Interestingly, two of the judges including Angel Moreton, e-Spain Founder and CEO World Tapas Competition Director and Jasbir Kaur, Associate Vice President Ignite College, also the driving force behind the Australasian Tapas Championships, made a surprise announcement! While it wasn’t a planned decision, they announced that the top four winners of the master chef challenge were short-listed for the World Tapas
Competition – which added some more excitement to the well-orchestrated evening.

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