The 2018 Chicago International Culinary Arts Competition at Robert Morris University Illinois
Student chefs studying culinary courses in Taiwan and in Chicago took part in the 2018 Chicago International Culinary Arts Competition at Robert Morris University’s Chicago campus, on September 11, 2018. Individual gold medals were awarded to Hsu Che-Ying (徐哲穎) from Kun Shan University (崑山科大) for entrées, to Michael Deng from Robert Morris University for appetizers, and to Zhong Ren-You (鐘仁佑) from Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology (中臺科大) for desserts. Kun Shan University (崑山科大) also won a Gold Team Award for its presentation of a traditional Taiwanese style banquet.
The competition chair, Ms. Meilie Tsai, president of the Chicago Taiwanese Cuisine and Culture Association, and the co-chair, chef Brad Hindsley, Chair of the Division of Culinary Arts at Robert Morris University Illinois announced the students’ awards. Ms. Mablene Krueger, president of RMU, and Mr. Eric Huang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Chicago, were guests of honor at the award ceremony. A Grand Prize, including a trip and tour of Taiwan sponsored by the Chicago Taiwanese Cuisine and Culture Association, was awarded to the US student with the highest score: Michael Deng,
This student cold cooking competition was a pioneer cooperative undertaking, planned by the Chicago Taiwanese Cuisine & Culture Association and Robert Morris University Illinois. The competing teams had to prepare a three-course meal offsite and transport their entry to the university’s culinary kitchens. They then had just one hour to plate and display their food for the judges to review. During the judging time, all the participants had a chance to watch a live cooking demonstration by two Taiwanese chefs: Professor Lu Che-Wei (呂哲維) carving vegetables, and Professor Hong Ting-Wei (洪廷瑋) making shrimp rolls. Afterwards, the audience and participants were able to enjoy the amazing traditional Taiwanese dishes prepared by the visiting Taiwan students and professors.
The Competition Chair, Ms. Tsai, explained: “The purposes of starting this competition are to enhance international cooperation, promote Taiwanese culinary arts, and encourage creativity, and most importantly, to support young dreamers and challenge them to fulfill their dreams.”
“It’s an honor just to participate in this event, because we got to see the surprising settings and food preparation of a different culture.“ said RMU competitor Amber Roots, “On behalf of all RMU students, we all appreciate the experience that the Taiwan delegation brought to us.”
Photo:Award-winning young chefs at the award ceremony with (in dark suits in the middle) from left: Eric Huang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Chicago; Mablene Krueger, president of Robert Morris University; and Meilie Tsai, president of the Chicago Taiwanese Cuisine and Culture Association.