Caesar wins Lee Kum Kee problem –

Aspiring Auckland chef Julius Caesar has taken out high place on the Lee Kum Kee New Zealand Creating Cooks Problem 2022.

A senior chef de partie at Ponsonby Highway Bistro, Caesar competed alongside three different younger cooks on the last occasion held in Auckland this week.

Caesar’s profitable crispy pork stomach dish.

Open to all cooks underneath the age of 40 both working or coaching in New Zealand, the competitors noticed entrants submit a Chinese language or Chinese language-inspired dish and video on-line, utilizing a minimal of three Lee Kum Kee sauces or condiments.

The 4 finalists chosen to compete included:

  • Julius Caesar, 35, senior chef de partie at Ponsonby Highway Bistro, Ponsonby. Julius offered a dish of crispy pork stomach, pork mince, noodles and crispy wontons
  • Luke Gardiner, 31,chef and proprietor at Auckland-based meals truck Catchya Cookout. Luke served up Dai Pai Dong-style wok tossed clams in black bean garlic sauce
  • Zeeshan Babwani, 24, sous chef at The Hangar, Henderson. Zeeshan offered judges with a dish of Szechuan-spiced, butter-poached monkfish.
  • And 2021 competitors winner Jacob Aomarere-Poole, 24, a sous chef at The Strongroom, Fielding. Jacob served up a chilli crusted beef eye fillet, with choy sum, prawn wonton, seared onions, chilli gazpacho and pepper gel.
Winner, Julius Caesar.

Battling it out in entrance of a reside viewers at Important Course in Auckland on Monday, the finalists had 90 minutes to make and current their dish to a judging panel made up of Important Course proprietor Sonya Oyston, Waitakere Licensing Belief head chef Paulie Hooton, and Mark Dronjak, a seasoned chef with over 40 years’ expertise and a wealth of revealed work.

Taking dwelling a $3,000 money prize and the title of 2022 Lee Kum Kee New Zealand Creating Chef, the judges described Caesar as a “proficient chef with a mature palette and an enormous future”.

Whereas the competitors was robust, Julius’s dish stood out for its depth of flavour, stated Dronjak.

“The pork stomach was fantastically moist. The crispy crackling, wontons and bean sprout slaw all offered nice texture. It was whole umami. I actually wished to take a seat down and eat the entire thing.”

Oyston stated every aspect labored rather well collectively however might stand by itself additionally.

“I actually preferred the best way he rendered down the pork fats and used that to taste the noodles.

“The unique recipe got here from his grandmother’s mom and is one Julius has gone on to refine, so there’s a good story behind it too.”

Whereas Hooton was impressed with Caesar’s understanding of taste mixtures and cooking methods.

“It was attention-grabbing to look at him make his 5 spice visually slightly than measuring it out. He clearly had a course of and actually knew his flavors and wasn’t frightened to make use of spice.

“The man clearly has a really mature palette, understands meals tendencies and taste mixtures and is a extremely assured prepare dinner.”

The judges famous this 12 months’s finalists had all discovered inventive methods to hero the Lee Kum Kee substances, so it was solely becoming that every walked away with greater than $200 of Lee Kum Kee merchandise.

Delighted to see Caesar take out the highest prize, Eugene Rush, Advertising Supervisor at Acton Worldwide Advertising, stated the New Zealand competitors is a part of a worldwide initiative by Lee Kum Kee to assist nurture Chinese language culinary expertise.

“We could also be a small participant on the worldwide stage, however New Zealand has a robust custom in Chinese language cooking and there may be actual innovation occurring throughout Asian cuisines right here, whether or not it’s Chinese language, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese or Asian fusion .

“Competing towards one of the best gives the finalists with an actual alternative for development and inspiration, and the winner will get each recognition for his or her abilities and a money reward.”

Gilmours Advertising Lead Nadia Lopes congratulated Caesar on the win on behalf of the occasion sponsors Gilmours and Trents. “As suppliers to hundreds of eating places and hospitality venues throughout the nation, Gilmours and Trents are delighted to assist help each the expansion of growing cooks like Julius and Asian delicacies right here in New Zealand.”

Held earlier this 12 months on account of Covid delays, the 2021 problem noticed 24-year-old Jacob Aomarere-Poole – a sous chef from Amayjen in Palmerston North on the time – take out high place along with his dish of candy and bitter fish stuffed tofu, and daikon soy salad.

Famend for inventing oyster sauce greater than 130 years in the past, Lee Kum Kee is without doubt one of the world’s most recognizable makers of genuine Chinese language sauces and condiments and has been standard in each industrial and residential kitchens throughout New Zealand for the reason that Seventies. Acton Worldwide Advertising is Lee Kum Kee’s sole distributor in New Zealand.