Chapter 28: Chef Lin The Judge!
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Among the judges of this cooking contest, there was a familiar person—Lin Shuwei.
Chef Lin had appeared on Hunan TVs “Chinese Restaurant” show before. He was the executive chef of the Intercontinental Hotel Group in China Region. He had also served as the head chef at the G20 summit, the UN World Tourism Organization Conference, and the Fortune Global Forum.
He was also the most important judge in this competition.
Lin Shuweis eyes were fixed on Xu Les figure.
Stir-fried shredded potatoes was indeed an ordinary home-cooked dish, but it could examine a chefs basic skills and understanding of cooking.
In Chef Lins opinion, every contestants performance was actually very outstanding.
But that was all. They did not surprise him.
If they were in the hotel, he would pass all these contestants finished products.
This was because the stir-fried potato strips of this quality were more than enough to be served as dishes.
But this was not a hotel kitchen.
This was the competition venue.
If it was just an ordinary dish of potato shreds, no matter how well it was made, it would only be an ordinary dish.
It was like a painter painting. So what if you copied 70% similarity to the painting of Mona Lisa
If you were in a painting competition, you would have to have your own creativity and expression. You would have to draw the things in your heart to move the judges.
Painters were like this, and so were cooks.
Chef Lin had always believed that cooking was also an art!
Lin Shuwei nodded slightly when he saw Xu Les actions.
He had cut the potatoes diagonally and removed the sticky fibers, making the shredded potatoes crispier.
Furthermore, Xu Les cutting skills were comparable to other chefs.
This was simply unimaginable.
Among the 30 chefs present, Zhang Tong and Wang Tao were the youngest.
But they were also 31 and 28 years old respectively.
At the very least, they had been involved in the culinary industry for nearly 20 years.
Xu Le was an eight-year-old child.
How many years of culinary skills could he learn
One or two years was probably the maximum.
After cutting the potato shreds, the next step was to wash them clean.
Xu Le looked around and saw many chefs washing the potatoes under the water. He frowned.
Many people would think that the purpose of washing potatoes was to wash them clean.
But that was only one reason.
More importantly, it was to dilute the starch on the surface of the potato. Therefore, the effect would be better if he soaked them in still water.
Xu Le grabbed the shredded potatoes and placed them into a large basin of water.
Then, he added a few spoonfuls of white vinegar.
The purpose of adding the white vinegar was to produce an oxidation reaction with the potatoes, so that it could release a large amount of starch and the texture would be more crispy.
While soaking the shredded potatoes.
Xu Le grabbed a handful of tabasco pepper from the side and cut them into thin strips. He then took out a few small onions and cut them into pieces.
At this moment, the shredded potatoes were almost finished soaking.
He fished them out and placed them on the kitchen towel to drain the water.
Next was the stir-frying segment.
After adding the oil in the pot and heating it up, he added scallions, dried chilli peppers, and pepper into the pot. He fried them for 30 seconds and released the fragrance within.
30 seconds later, Xu Le scooped out all the fried spices. The chilli and pepper had been fried into a dark brown color, and the color of the onions had turned golden.
“The timing of the stir-frying is just right.” Xu Le leaned over to sniff and said in satisfaction.
If the stir-frying took too long, the final dish would have a bitter taste.
He took out a filter and filtered the hot oil in the pot.
After filtering the pepper granules and chilli seeds, he poured them into the shredded potatoes and started stir-frying them.
He adjusted the fire to its maximum heat.
Blue flames spewed out like a planetary engine, spreading along the walls of the pot and rapidly raising the temperature of the entire pot.
The shredded potatoes and all the spices seemed to have a wonderful chemical reaction.
A delicious fragrance was gradually released.
After stir-frying for a while, the potato shreds became almost translucent.
Xu Le immediately added five spoonfuls of fragrant vinegar and two spoonfuls of aged vinegar. He also added a spoonful of white sugar and a spoonful of salt.
A sweet and sour taste assaulted Xu Les senses as he continued to stir-fry.
When the taste was almost gone, he put in the shredded chilli.
The smell was released once again.
It was just that the sourness and sweetness transformed into sourness and spiciness. This was exactly the taste that Xu Le wanted.
There was a very important step after the stir-fried shredded potatoes were served.
Under everyones shocked gazes, Xu Le actually took out an alcohol spray gun from the side.
Xu Le aimed the alcohol spray gun at the fried shredded potatoes. Blue flames spewed out and the temperature instantly rose.
Under the intense heat, the outer layer of the potato shreds appeared to be scorched.
How could shredded potatoes be fried like this
Not to mention the audience, even the chefs and gourmets on the judging panel were stunned when they saw Xu Les actions.
Was he roasting shredded potatoes
The potato shreds glowed with a golden brown luster, as if there was a thin layer of crust that had been oxidized on the surface.
This step was a bold improvisation by Xu Le on the recipe.
As a chef, he had to have his own soul. Most of the time, he had to innovate on the basis of the recipe.
Xu Les tender voice rang out.
The moment he finished speaking, the timer beside him stopped.
11 minutes and 30 seconds.
Among all the contestants, Xu Le was the seventh to finish it. He was considered one of the fastest.
But his actions were undoubtedly the most eye-catching.
Even the judges wanted to have a taste of Xu Les dish.
Roasted shredded potatoes
Soon, the other chefs finished cooking as well.
Plates of stir-fried shredded potatoes were served on the table for the 10 judges to taste, evaluate, and give marks.
“Contestant number 1, Jiang Xuan. Your cutting skills are not bad. The thickness of the shredded potato is even, and your control over the fire is not bad. However, the seasoning is rather ordinary. 75 points.”
This was the evaluation given by the 10 judges after they had combined their opinions.
This score was not considered high. Clearly, the judges were not satisfied with his dishes.
This plate of shredded potato could only be said to be average. There was nothing new about it.
“Contestant number 2, Wei Hao, seems to be lacking in cutting skills. The thickness of the shredded potatoes is not even enough. Some of them are too thick and heavy. His control over the fire is not bad. The taste is not bad. 70 points.”
Soon, the 10 judges reached Zhang Tong.
Although Xu Le and Zhang Tong werent standing together, he looked over and saw Zhang Tong pursing his lips. He was obviously nervous.
“Contestant number 4, Zhang Tong, has excellent cutting skills. The shredded potatoes are cut very neatly, and he has good control over the fire. When the potatoes are eaten, they are soft and hard. He even added them into the dish…”
The gourmet frowned when he reached this part of the comments.
Obviously, he had yet to identify one of the ingredients.
“He added crab oil” The great chef Lin Shuwei suddenly spoke.
“Thats right. Its crab oil. This can be considered a kind of improvisation on this traditional dish. The two flavors that have nothing to do with each other have fused quite well. When eaten, it gives people a refreshing feeling. Ill give 88 points!”
After receiving encouragement from the judges, Zhang Tongs eyes lit up.
This was the highest score that had been given so far.
The next contestant was the youngest chef besides Xu Le. Unexpectedly, although he was not old, he had good cutting skills and fire control. He also scored 85 points.
Next… was Xu Le.