Pear tarte tatin with milk tea crème anglaise

As somebody who has suffered prior trauma from tarte tatin, I can tell you now that I’ve made at least ten of them this year alone. To celebrate the fall, and to use the free bosc pears that were lying around at work, I wanted to make yet another tarte tatin. This time, I decided…

Passionfruit cheesecake shumai

These dumplings came about from my excess of passionfruit(what a problem to have, clearly) as well as me wanting to try making a steamed cheesecake dumpling. So I figured, why not mix the passionfruit into the cheesecake and make something truly original? To be a little more fun, I decided to dye the shumai shells…

Here comes a thought: a plated dessert

When I came up with the concept for this dessert, it really was to be something that would tackle the themes of anxiety and depression, two things I had to deal with a ton when I had come out. Having an entire student organization essentially outcast and passive aggressively bully you, as anyone can imagine,…

Beef and Broccoli Revised: a plated dish

On the back of that wedding challenge, the elimination that followed was a freaking outdoor grilling challenge, in the patio where we all stood during the helicopter intro! It was crazy! The contestants on the losing Red Team had to choose from a huge variety of steaks and grill a dish in an hour. Which…

Liz’s banana-chocolate tarte tatin

So this dessert goes out to a very special lady, Ms. Elizabeth Linn. She blew us all away during the tarte tatin challenge(the same one I’m probably never going to fully live down), when she made a banana tarte tatin with chocolate crème anglaise. I remember when we were planning our tarte tatins out, she…

Face my fears: tarte tatin redemption

Fucking tarte tatin. Let me tell you now, this was the LAST dessert I expected to ever have PTSD from during my reality cooking competition journey. I love apples, I love caramel, and I love flaky pastry. And I’ve made this before(as the judges let everyone know to the point where they made it seem…

Got me going’: a plated dessert

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, this was one of the four that I came up with, being a back-up dessert to my chocolate cake. Normally, when you think of a signature dessert, you’d think like a cake, tart, cream puff, something where a dough or batter takes the center stage….

Strawberry-ambrosia cake

I love pairing corn with strawberries. I also love pairing strawberries with lemon. And strawberry and ginger. And ginger and lemon. And ginger and corn. Basically, you get where this is going. I put all four of these flavors together into a single package. The idea behind the dessert was to make something cute and…

Fred Bread Buns with Roast Duck and Scallions

I love making “Fred Bread”, which is my take on Japanese milk bread. I also adore making steamed buns with duck. So I figured, why not combine the two? The end result? A really light, fluffy steamed bun with a buttery crumb. It’s pretty awesome. We made these for new years, and since the recipe…

Nightmarket: a plated dish concept

The entire basis of this dish came from wanting to shove as many Chinese/Asian inspired dishes into one thing. So we have roasted duck leg, seared duck breast, green papaya salad, and a duck fat infused bun, served with a duck-blood orange-soy sauce. It’s a lot of food, but it’s guaranteed that you’ll find something…

Duck-scallion congee with duck fat-Chinese churros

Whenever I butcher whole ducks (this happens a lot more than you’d think, but I guess that’s the benefit of butchering whole animals), I love making stock using the bones, and then taking the scrap meat from the carcass and folding that into congee, which is Chinese rice porridge. When I was learning how to…

Strawberry cheesecake tiramisu

This dessert is an oldie but a goodie for me. Tiramisu is an Italian classic, typically made with whipped mascarpone cheese and coffee-amaretto soaked ladyfingers, topped with cocoa powder. The coffee and alcohol are there to give you a little “pick me up”, but I wanted to have that same effect with just strawberries. For…

Blueberry dreams: a plated concept

This dessert came about when I was watching a shoujo anime, “Kobato” and I was inspired by a character named Ioryogi, being this outwardly cute blue dog creature, and his love of baumkuchen, a circular German layered cake that resembles the rings or layers of a tree. Normally, baumkuchen is made on a spit roast…

(A Semi-traditional) beef noodle soup

So a national dish of my native Taiwan is beef noodle soup. And of course, I’m bastardizing it, because while I am a legal citizen and was born there, I speak less Mandarin than the employees of Panda Express and have less knowledge about Taiwanese traditions and culture than most of the Chinese mainlanders who…