Aspiring Dunedin chef Quiel Mallari has gained the highest place title on the Lee Kum Kee New Zealand Growing Cooks Problem for 2023.
Head chef at Magic Moments Restaurant within the Regulation Courts Resort, Dunedin, Mallari competed alongside three finalists to take the highest prize on the competitors held in Auckland on October 9.
Open to all cooks underneath the age of 40, both working or coaching in New Zealand, the Gilmours and Trents sponsored competitors required aspiring cooks to submit a Chinese language or Chinese language-inspired dish, utilizing a minimal of three Lee Kum Kee sauces or condiments.
The 4 finalists chosen to compete included:
- Ake Phuengpha, 33, Mae Nam Khong restaurant in New Lynn, Auckland. Ake’s dish was steamed prawns with dry noodles and a fried wonton bowl.
- Quiel Mallari, 30, head chef on the Magic Moments, Dunedin. Quiel offered a dish of steamed cod with soy dressing, topped with puffed vermicelli and a facet of stir-fried greens, and Lo Rou Fan ginger rice shock with braised pork, pickled cucumber and egg blanket.
- 2022 competitors winner Julius Caesar, 36, who’s about to start out at Josh Emett’s new Gilt Brasserie which opens in Auckland’s CBD later this month. Julius’ dish was Hainanese rooster rice, with crispy rooster pores and skin, scallion oil, crispy garlic and rooster broth.
- And 2021 competitors winner Jacob Aomarere-Poole, 25 ,a sous chef at The Strongroom, Feilding. Jacob’s dish this yr was stuffed honey rooster with beetroot jus and braised leek.
Held at Auckland’s Fundamental Course venue on Monday October 9, contestants had 90 minutes to make and current their dish to a judging panel made up of Fundamental Course proprietor Sonya Oyston, head chef at a number of Waitakere Licensing Belief eating places, together with Mr Illingsworth, Brick Lane, Iti, The Hangar and The Good Dwelling, Paulie Hooton, and Mark Dronjak, a seasoned chef with over 40 years’ expertise and a wealth of printed work.
Taking residence a $3,000 money prize and the title of Lee Kum Kee New Zealand Growing Chef for 2023, the judges described Mallari as a “gifted chef with a fantastic future forward of him”.
Whereas the competitors was stiff, Quiel Mallari’s dish stood out for its complexity, originality and depth of flavour, stated Dronjak.
“Quiel’s dish was an exquisite mixture of flavours. There was loads occurring, a number of layers, with flavours that every one labored fantastically collectively.”
“It was a extremely technical dish,” says Paulie Hooton. “Quiel was like a silent murderer, simply quietly getting issues executed and made it look simple.”
The judges had been significantly impressed by the ginger rice shock, stated Oyston. “The layers of egg blanket and braised pork hidden inside had been a welcome shock certainly.”
Mallari described the ginger rice as a riff on the standard Taiwanese dish Lo Rou Fan. “However with pork mince as a substitute of pork stomach and an egg blanket slightly than a tough boiled egg. The style is nice with a touch of 5 spice. The pickled cucumber provides acidity, and there’s loads of pork fats to flavour the rice.”
With a decade’s cheffing expertise, Mallari educated within the Philippines earlier than transferring to Auckland eight years in the past to review enterprise and hospitality administration.
Working in all places from a retirement village in Orewa, to Filipino restaurant Nanam in Takapuna and the acclaimed Wrongdoer within the CBD, Mallari shifted to Dunedin a yr in the past to take up the pinnacle chef position at Magic Moments Restaurant, the place he serves traditional worldwide pub meals by day and fusion delicacies at evening, making use of Otago’s native seasonal contemporary produce.
Requested about his win, Mallari says he’s very completely happy. “At first I used to be a bit anxious as among the elements I wished weren’t obtainable, however I improvised. The staff again in Dunedin can be very completely happy. Earlier than the competitors they had been saying to me ‘No strain, however be sure you deliver again the prize!’ Now I’m wanting ahead to sharing these creations with our restaurant patrons.”
Delighted to see Quiel take out prime honours, Glen McCracken, Head of Gross sales and Advertising atLee Kum Kee’s New Zealand distributor, Acton Worldwide Advertising, stated New Zealand has a powerful custom in Asian cooking, with actual innovation taking place, whether or not it’s Chinese language, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese or fusion.
“We had finalists representing from throughout New Zealand and noticed 4 very completely different dishes on the judging desk which was nice and illustrates the flexibility of Lee Kum Kee merchandise within the kitchen, whether or not it’s in eating places or at residence.”
Trents Class Supervisor within the South Island, Alex Cooper-Grieve, congratulated Quiel on the win. “At Trents and Gilmours, we love supporting rising expertise, and it’s fantastic to see a winner from the South Island.”
Famend for inventing oyster sauce over 130 years in the past, right now Lee Kum Kee is likely one of the world’s most recognisable makers of genuine Chinese language sauces and condiments and has been fashionable in each industrial and residential kitchens throughout New Zealand for the reason that Seventies.
The 2023 Lee Kum Kee NZ Growing Cooks Problem was supported by Gilmours and Trents.