Aspiring Iron chefs, Valentine and birthday celebration! 2/18/12

Table set up Iron chefs Dinner Cake/Gift

Aspiring Iron Chefs at work!

The stage is now open for all the aspiring Iron chefs, so without further ado let's the cooking begins with the chairman’s signature tagline:

“So now America, with an open heart and an empty stomach, I say unto you in the words of my uncle:


Spencer also caught the cooking spirit which inspired him to contribute to the event by baked a large batch of brownies!  Not only did he baked brownies but he also turned ordinary brownies into Valentine Heart Shaped by using a heart cutter mold!  That's pretty impressive!

Valentine heart shaped Brownie.


Spencer added fresh raspberries on top of each brownie.  They are perfect for Valentine.  The brownies were very moist and delicious!

Thumb up for Spencer!


Hoa has two specialties in his repertoire: Mi Goi (noodle cup) and scramble eggs.  None of these two specialties qualify for the Iron chef theme tonight.  Knowing his lack of talent and experience in the kitchen he decided to make a Ceviche Classico, which involve no cooking.  The dish is a fool proof dish so there is no way he can fail to deliver.  The citric acid is used to cook the fish and the majority of the work is to chop lots of ingredients and that Hoa can do that.

Click on link to see Aspiring Chef Hoa in the kitchen


Aspiring Iron chef Loan presenting her dish:

Baked wonton with exotic crab meat salad.

The dish was served as an appetizer and it looks very appetizing!

Loan was agonizing for 3 weeks not knowing what to cook and it took a lot of effort to come up with a dish worthy of an Iron chef.


Aspiring Iron chef Mui presenting her dish:

Vang long bat Buu (the sauce will added once it is served) is made with abalone, mushroom & served with a special sauce.

Close look at the dish without the sauce


Vang long (name of a King) bat (Eight) Buu (rare), it basically means King Vang Long's precious 8 ingredients dish.

The abalone was cooked in simmering low heat for 10 hours to become tender.  The sauce has salted dried pork meat, chicken feet and shredded dried scallops.

A dish fit for king!

Ranking for Mui's dish is on the next page!


Aspiring Iron chefs for the evening:

Mui, Loan, Huyen, and Hoa.


Knowing that I love Louis Vuitton bags, Maily amazed all of us by baking an amazing Louis Vuitton cake for me.

It took Maily over two days to bake and decorate this cake!  This cake belongs in the show "Ace of cake".  This cake is so unique that we will talk about it for a while.

Simply amazing to look at the details and color of the cake!


Mui, Loan, Hanh, Maily, I am holding the cake, Ha, and Huyen


View of Tuan's kitchen!  at the end of the picture you can see a large silver pot that Tuan used to cook his pork chops in sous vide.

I'll tell you more about sous-vide technique later....


Here Aspiring Iron chef Huyen cooking the spot shrimps.


Aspiring Iron Chef Huyen in the kitchen.


Here Iron chef Huyen is plating the salad first!

Iron Chef Tuan showing his sous vide technique.  Vietnamese ingenious adaptation by inserting two large chop sticks on top of each plastic bag so that they will stay stationary.

Sous Vide is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags (zip lock bag are use here) in a water bath for a long time (4 hours in this case) and at an accurately determined temperature much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 60 °C or 140 °F. The intention is to cook the item evenly, not overcook the outside while still keeping the inside at the same 'doneness' and to keep the food juicier.

Kurabuta pork is not available at your regular groceries so Tuan had to ordered them online with Dartagan.   Kurabuta pork is a Japanese name for Berkshire pork that comes from a rare breed of pigs, dating back over 300 years to the English House of Windsor.

Unlike traditional white pork that can have a tendency to be bland and dry, American Kurabuta Pork is much darker in color and rich in flavor as you can see on the 1st picture (the meat is really red, almost like beef).  Kurabuta/Bershire pork is the highest quality of pork and is the pork "Wagyu", known for its meat marbling.

Kurabuta/Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavor and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled. Its high fat content makes it suitable for long cooking and high-temperature cooking.

After cooking the pork chops in sous vide for 4 hours, it is briefly pan seared to give it a nice and appetizing color.

Iron chef Hanh also served one of her memorable Bistro Jeanty's Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry

Now that you have seen all the activities in the kitchen, let's go sit down and have dinner.

Next.. Dinner time



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