|Cooking up a storm: Thanh Cuong at the final round of Master Chef 2015 contest. — Photo kenh14.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — A 31-year-old chef from HCM City won the heart of the cooking contest jury to become the third-season Master Chef of Viet Nam 2015.
Thanh Cuong proved his talent in cooking, as well as processing raw ingredients, during various stages of the contest.
In the final round on Saturday, he defeated rival Pham Tuyet with a comprehensive menu of starter, main course and dessert, having 120-minutes to cook the meal.
For the contest, Cuong chose to prepare three starter dishes, including asparagus salad, Japanese seaweed with soya and fresh oyster with green mustard.
Judge Tuan Hai noted that he highly appreciated Cuong's creativeness when combining three fruits of mandarin, orange and lemon for the starter dishes.
"They really blend very well. Good work!" Hai said.
However, judge Hoang Khai did not taste the oyster, saying the oyster might not have been "fresh".
Cuong then cooked fried salmon and baked lamb chop dishes for the main course. He received praise from all three judges for these dishes.
For dessert, Cuong made banana crepe.
Judge Christine Ha, who won the third season American Master Chef, said banana crepe was her favourite dish.
Cuong has succeeded in highlighting chocolate flavour in the dish by adding sour tastes, she added. "The fresh fruits blend with the crepe, making the dish perfect," she said.
"Winning the title has been one of my biggest successes so far," said Cuong at the awards ceremony after the show, "At the moment, I just want to send a message to my parents that I have won, though I chose a path that was very challenging. Thanks mom and dad for believing and encouraging me."
His final competitor, Pham Tuyet, also impressed the jury with her starter dishes of grilled pork and Vietnamese banh xeo (rice crepe with vegetable, pork and shrimp), as well as her presentation of the food.
Her main dish was salted pork chop, with a brownie cake as her dessert.
Though she tried very hard in later rounds, she was not judged as highly as Cuong at the beginning of the contest.
Cuong received a cash prize of VND500 million (US$22,200).
He plans to write a cook book soon. — VNS