The public have eaten, and they’ve selected Esther Sham as the winner of Time Out’s first Chef Showdown, which took place last night at Blue · Butcher & Meat Specialist.
Attended by close to 100 diners, the evening saw Maison Es’ Sham and Blue’s Sebastian Comerso go head-to-head as they each served two dishes as part of the Chef Showdown tasting menu. First up was Sham’s appetiser of seared scallop with apple miso and foie gras foam, followed by Comerso’s raw beef trio, which featured paper-thin slices of aged meat designed to be rolled around dollops of oyster emulsion, truffle purée and foie gras parfait.
For mains, Sham served the melting onion spring chicken, which she explains is inspired by her mother’s cooking. The beautifully composed dish featured succulent meat, deep-fried aubergine, a mound of caramelised onions and the pièce de résistance – a quail egg with a perfectly cooked, runny centre. Comerso also turned up the heat with his secret recipe porchetta, which was rich and fatty in all the right places. Dinner ended on a sweet note with a spring-appropriate grilled peach and crème fraiche dessert provided by the Blue kitchen.
After tasting the dishes, our discerning diners voted for their favourite. It was a tight race, but it was Esther Sham who ultimately won the hearts and stomachs of those in the room. There were also some winners among our diners. One guest won a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon, courtesy of Campari Group. Two diners also went home with elaborate hampers put together by WOAW Store. And finally, one very lucky guest walked away with a one-night staycation package at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
If you missed this Chef Showdown, there’s still one more cook-off next week on April 25. The dinner will be presented by Anthony Burd of Mercato By Jean-Georges and Max Levy of Okra. Check out their menu here and don’t forget to book your tickets now.