The Waldorf Astoria hotel collection brought its best chefs from around the world for a team competition to select a dish that will now become a part of each destination’s famous menu.
Joining the Waldorf’s top culinary minds were finalists for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Rising Star competition from across the United States. Broken into two-chef teams, each pairing developed a unique recipe to battle for Waldorf Astoria mortality.
Finding a place on the menu of a Waldorf Astoria hotel is no mean feat. The venues are famous for creating world famous meals that found their way to restaurants around the planet — including the Waldorf Salad, Red Velvet Cake and Eggs Benedict.
The home base for the Taste of Waldorf Astoria competition was the collection’s iconic New York property. Five dishes entered the gray, created in the kitchens of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, Waldorf Astoria Beijing and The Roosevelt New Orleans (also a Waldorf Astoria Hotel).
Specially invited guests and a panel of judges sampled and selected the entrants. Those culinary experts making the selections included Chef Wylie Dufresne (Saveur Editor-in-Chief), Adam Sachs (James Beard Foundation President), Susan Ungaro (Questlove) and Chef David Posey (Winner of the Taste of Waldorf Astoria 2015).
The winning dish was the Jing Roll (top), created by Waldorf Astoria Master Chef Benoit Chargy and JBF Rising Star Finalist Chef Erik Bruner-Yang at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. It includes Chinese Nappa Cabbage wrapped around a delicate filling of minced Wagyu beef with black mushrooms and Chinese chili peppers, hoisin sauce, local salted duck eggs, okra, and sweet purple potatoes.
From the Roosevelt New Orleans, Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Stefan Kauth and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef: Jeremy Wayne (Chef de Cuisine at La Folie of San Francisco, CA) created Shrimp Segnette – cast iron-seared shrimp with cajun spices and a cauliflower and mascarpone-filled cappelletti.
From the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Waldorf Astoria Chef Bernard and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef Jamilka Borges (Former Chef de Cuisine at Bar Marco and Executive Chef at SPOON – Pittsburgh, PA) offered Sable Fish with Florida Truffle, including Black Cod, Clams and Pine Needle Butter, Zellwood Corn, “Florida Truffles,” a Sumac Tomato and Elderberry Syrup.
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam brought Master Chef Sidney Schutte (Executive Chef at Restaurant Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam) and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef Grae Nonas (Co-Executive Chef at Olamaie). They created Beech Anemone – Confit beech root mushroom with creamy Dutch cheese, smoked sous vide egg yolk, sea succulents, pickled watermelon radish and a conserved mushroom vinaigrette.
Finally, the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem offered Waldorf Astoria Master Chef Itzik Mizrachi Barak and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson (Executive Chef at The Cecil and Minton’s, New York, NY) with their dish, The Seven Species – Dorade, tahini, aubergine, Bulgur salad, and garnished with cucumbers, carrots, squash and fresh herbs.