High tea on high teas: a plated dish

I really wanted to just dabble more with savory cooking, just because I do so much with dessert, and not nearly enough with actual cooking. When I was conceptualizing this dish, I was actually running. Some of the best (or most original) ideas come to me when I’m experiencing an adrenaline high, and everything is…

Gnocchi with lamb and pork brodo

I love making pasta. There are so many different kinds of shapes you can make, and they are all perfect for different functions. Stuffed pasta is great for keeping a filling and a sauce distinct, noodles are great for soaking up a sauce or broth, and for the case of gnocchi, they are great for…

Give you the world: a plated dish

So this dish was actually in my to-do list for about four months. I wrote up the concept back in October, but I never really got around to making it. This dish is an homage to Middle Eastern food, which is actually a cuisine I came to really love during my time in D.C., living…

Breathe again: a plated dish

So this dish was obviously inspired by the song “Breathe again” from season 2 of Carole and Tuesday. The song itself talks about reaching new heights, and being able to take a sigh of relief now that you have succeeded in making something of yourself. For me, a component that perfectly embodies all of that is…

Lamb potstickers with mala-pepper broth and whipped yogurt

Now it’s no secret that I love Halal-styled Chinese food. The spices, the flavors, it’s really a warming, comforting cuisine. In the spirit of Chinese New Years, I definitely wanted to do something festive, comforting, and family-friendly, so my mind immediately went to dumplings. Specifically, potstickers. I feel like any and every Chinese family has…

Want to: a plated dish

I really love to take classic and rustic dishes and breathing new life into them. For some odd season, I have always been attracted to Southern food, despite never really visiting the South. There’s just something about biscuits, barbecue, buttermilk, and corn that just really, really appeals to me. So I wanted to do a…

Fantome: a plated dish

So this was a concept I had in my back pocket since the summer, but just never got around to making until recently. I love blood orange and I love scallop, and I wanted to do an Asian fusion take on it with elements of French, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. The one issue I always…

Dou Jiang inspired dumplings

I literally came up with this dumpling while I was driving to Milkbar one Saturday morning. I was craving Chinese brunch, and I remember eating dou jiang, or warm sweetened soy bean milk, with youtiao, or kruellers. For those of you who aren’t familiar with soy bean milk, it’s Chinese soy milk. Unlike the Silk…

Back to life: a plated dish

This dish is a nod to Mystery Skulls, specifically their new album and song, Back to Life. When I was conceptualizing a dish around that focuses on one of my biggest banes to existence, being the filet mignon, and focusing on taking that and making it vibrant, exciting, and beautiful. Honestly, filet is a giant…

Echoes of seashells: a plated dish

One of my favorite proteins to cook is clams. They’re juicy, succulent, full of beautiful, ocean-y brine, and they lend themselves well to flavoring anything that they’re cooked in because of that. For this particular dish, I wanted to make something that captures the delicate nature of seafood in general, while packing a huge punch…

All for one: a plated dish

Whenever I have a whole duck, I love to go to town. Being a butcher, it’s a ton of fun to work with the whole animal. In this case, I wanted to do duck three ways. The first was braising and roasting the leg. The second was a seared duck breast. The third, it was…

Let’s go in the garden: a plated dish

For this dish, I really wanted to prepare something that conjured up nostalgic childhood memories. With lamb, it was something I grew up eating a lot of, because my parents loved it. With the garnish, I knew I wanted to do something that resembled vegetables sprouting out from the earth, and so I went with…

“Chicken and dumplings” wontons

I wanted to create a play on chicken and dumplings, but using wonton soup as the inspiration. Mostly because I had half of a leftover chicken that I needed to get rid of, so I figured, why not just grind up the wing and leg meat and turn that into a dumpling filling? I also…

Prince of the Dawning Sky: a plated dish

This would have been my main course for the finale. Inspired by the sun-filled sky, and the morning, it is duck and mushroom congee with ponzu-black garlic puree, duck egg yolk, braised duck thigh meat, crispy shallots, cilantro duck fat, caramelized mushrooms, and micro cilantro to garnish. The idea has multiple folds behind the inspiration….

Prince of the Sea Angels: a plated dish

So even though I was eliminated in top 10, I actually did have dishes in mind for the finale. The amount of thought you saw put into the crab lantern dish, trust me, a lot more were put into these. So while it is a shame I could not make these dishes for the judges,…

IDGAF(ilet mignon): a plated dish

When I was preparing for season 10, I did cook with a lot of different kinds of meats and proteins. Lamb, duck, pork, chicken, scallops, fileting and then cooking with whole fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, black cod, I even practiced cooking ribeye for steaks. I never thought to practice with filet mignon. And…

Mapo tofu mandu

When I was coming up with creative new dumpling ideas, I wanted to do something with mapo tofu. Upon doing a little research, I found out that Korea’s national dumpling, the mandu, actually contains kimchi and tofu in it! I knew right away that I could sub out the kimchi with spicy bean paste, and…

Vegan sunchoke shuumai

When I was trying to think of new and creative dumpling ideas, I decided to go back to pasta dishes I had in the past. One of them was the trois soleil dish from Baroo, LA. The dish itself featured sunchokes three ways, in pickles, chips, and a “cream” sauce. I use the quotations there…

Butter chicken potstickers

In continuation with my dumpling project(where I take dishes and translate them into little parcels of love and joy), I wanted to try merging butter chicken with potstickers, just because I felt like the two could have a lot of potential to really compliment one another. So we have the chicken thighs that are marinated…

“Welcome to the lantern festival!”: a plated dish

This dish was definitely my favorite to make when I was in the competition. Not only did I get to impress the judges(and finally claim some much needed emotional redemption!), but also Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as well! And with a freaking $500 Alaskan King Crab! Like what the hell?! Even to this day, I…