Creativity with Soyfoods is Showcased in ACF Hot Foods Competition
Urbandale, Iowa — Soyfoods took center stage at the recent International Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, in a hotly contested Hot Foods Competition sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation.
In the Iron Chef-style California Culinary Challenge, ACF member chefs competed in four sponsored categories in which specific specialty ingredients were to be used. In the Soyfoods Council-sponsored category, chefs worked with firm tofu, trans-fat free soy oil, soymilk and edamame beans.
Winning Best of Show in the Soyfoods competition was Brandon Parry, who has served as a culinary specialist with the United States Navy for the past 17 years. Chief Parry is a Personal Certified Executive Chef; he is the first sailor in the US Navy to earn that certification.
Chief Parry’s entry in the ACF Soyfoods competition was inspired by Kaiseki cuisine, Japan’s traditional multi-course meal that features a variety of artfully presented small dishes. Parry plated his entry in a Kaiseki-Bento box, which generally includes Miso Soup and three side dishes. His winning recipes included Miso Soup, Edamame Mushroom Skewer on Sushi Rice, Tofu Sandwich with Salt-Seared Shrimp and Dengaku Glaze, Potato Croquette, and Carrot & Daikon Salad.
The competition was intense; in addition to adhering to a 60-minute time frame and using designated ingredients, the contestants had the added pressure of being evaluated by a prestigious panel of judges: David Kellaway, CMC, Corporate Director of Culinary Operations, Station Casinos, Inc., Las Vegas; Dieter H. Doppelfeld, CMC, St. Helena, Cal., and Mial Parker, CEC, CCE, Chef Instructor at the Professional Culinary Institute, Campbell, Cal.
The judges evaluated the tasting portion of each chef’s entry on specific criteria, including: serving methods and presentation; portion size and nutritional balance; menu and ingredient compatibility; creativity and practicality; and flavor, taste, texture and doneness. In addition, the judges rated each contestant’s skills in several areas, including sanitation, organization, culinary technique and execution, time management and proper utilization of all ingredients.
Competitors in the Soyfoods Hot Foods Competition, in addition to Brandon Parry, were Whitney Werner, hospitality consultant, educator, writer and speaker; William Ramsey, CCA, CCE, Executive Chef at Casino Pauma in Pauma Valley, Cal.; Jackie Ortiz, a student at the Professional Culinary Institute, Campbell, Cal., Alfonso Mendez, a student at the Professional Culinary Institute, Campbell, Cal., and Dominique Valdez, a student at the San Diego Culinary Institute in La Mesa, Cal.
“Chief Parry’s winning entry indicates the vast potential for soyfoods on American menus,” said Angela Hemauer, senior marketing manager of The Soyfoods Council. “Asian cuisines show how soyfoods can be a great-tasting, healthful part of the menu. Chief Parry’s dishes honor Japanese culinary tradition, while also appealing to contemporary American tastes.”
The International Fancy Food Show is North America’s largest specialty food and beverage show. The recent event in San Francisco’s Moscone Center drew an estimated 16,000 retailers, restaurateurs and chefs from the US and 35 countries, as well as 1,250 exhibitors.