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Chopsticks & Beyond jumps into Zhengzhou

( CRIENGLISH.com ) Updated: 2014-10-22 15:01:34

Chopsticks & Beyond jumps into Zhengzhou

Petr Hodonsky leans over to talk with Gift Bwalya at the Chopsticks & Beyond cooking competition in Zhengzhou.

Chopsticks & Beyond jumps into Zhengzhou

Huaiyang cuisine and a happy ending

Chopsticks & Beyond jumps into Zhengzhou

Chopsticks & Beyond Goes Cantonese

When the time was announced and 17 minutes had already passed, the cooks responded with disbelief. "Did you just say seventeen minutes?" After the delays all teams were feeling the pressure and wasted no time sprinting into the adjacent kitchen to fry their fish. If anyone hadn't realized that working in a professional kitchen can be a manic and claustrophobic environment, they knew now. The tasks of finding some beer to add to a sauce or even a simple spoon sometimes proved to be less than straightforward.

Time was definitely tight but the pressure people had put on themselves served them well. Even the slowest team of Stuart Wiggin and Kim Hyegeon hustled their dish out of the kitchen with only a second to spare.

The judges lined up and sampled the dishes, visibly surprised or impressed with one dish or another. Judges seemed uncertain when Czech Petr Hodonsky insisted that judges dip their morsel of fish into a bowl of beer before consuming it. He definitely scored points for ingenuity, if not for taste.

Unfortunately, judges had no opportunity to discuss the different dishes or the reasoning of their choice, not that there was any uncertainty about who the winner was. Come voting time, judges unanimously voted Gabriela Filipovici and Naeem Khan's dish as the tastiest. Filpovici and Khan also claimed the prize for the public food award, securing the most votes by the invited audience members. Khan's face which seems to always bear a smile, grinned all the more so after being announced the winner.

Filipovici was impressed with everyone's effort and result. "Wow, you meet in a very few minutes to do something and it was not so easy. We can never, never cook those noodles the way that chef did. So we couldn't solve it. We had to try something else. But I wanted to keep the dish Chinese, to keep the taste and the appearance."

Filipovici echoed a sentiment of several contestants in that learning to cook liyubeimian had taught her more about the country it comes from. "From this contest we can learn more about China. You know, China is so big. So [this show] can present China's good places and good dishes."

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