I thought I had a bit of experience in tasting after going through our own Roast Goose and Char Siu blind tasting challenges earlier, but having to try 10 versions of fried chickens in the same evening was no walk in the park. Nor was it easy for the chefs who had to prepare the dishes for our enjoyment in a kitchen that they are not familiar with, and had to time the preparation and cooking right to make sure their chicken came out well-cooked, crispy and juicy in the exact order of serving.
I am quite impressed with the line-up, representing a good variety of different cooking styles from different regions, which reflected in the different versions of fried chicken presented. There were the more "traditional" ones in classic Southern style, or ones blended with Asian influences; and then there were some that were deep-fried as the whole bird then carved, versus one cut into pieces then dipped in the batter and cooked.
|From Chef Max Levy of Okra: Chicken Tatsuta with La Rou Tofu Gris & Pickles|
|Chef Hideki Abeyama of Jan Jan Kushikatsu: Japanese-style crispy Karaage served with a wasabi mayonnaise|
|Chef Tim Lau of Moonshine & the Po'Boys: Traditional buttermilk fried chicken with a blend of Cajun spices & herbs, including cayenne pepper & paprika.”|
|Chef Peter Cuong Franklin of Viet Kitchen & Bar: Gà Chiên, Viet Fried Chicken marinated with fish sauce, sugar, caramel, herbs and spices overnight, served with pickled daikon and fresh herbs|
For each of the entry we were asked to judge by the five categories of Tenderness, Moisture, Crispiness, Flavor and Overall Impression, on a scale of 1-10 for each category. At the end with the scores tabulated, drums rolling and pompoms out, the Viet Kitchen fried chicken was crowned the best by popular vote. Though I am sure all in attendance was totally "chickened out" at the end of the evening, the evening was all about having fun, and thanks all the participating chefs for being a good sport and fed us with wonderful dishes. I guess everyone won!
(The event was by invitation)
Where? Jinjuu, U/G, California Tower, 32 D'Aguilar Street, Central