Time Out’s 2018 Chef Showdown served its final course last week at Blue · Butcher & Meat Specialist. Following the inaugural cook-off between chefs Sebastian Comerso and Esther Sham, the second night of the sold-out event saw Mercato By Jean-Georges’ Anthony Burd pitching his seasonal Italian fare against the heritage-inspired, multicultural cuisine of Okra’s Max Levy.
Anthony Burd's foie gras croccantino with apple, ginger and pistachio
Burd kicked off the dinner with a clean and brightly flavoured starter of foie gras croccantino with apple, ginger and pistachio. Levy followed up with an incredibly umami la rou and dashi matzoh ball soup – a dish inspired by the Jewish cuisine he grew up eating. Both dishes were paired with an Americano cocktail, prepared with Campari.
Max Levy's la rou and dashi matzoh ball soup
Moving onto main courses, Burd’s herb-crusted monkfish on a delicious four-grain risotto adorned with spring herbs and vegetables won him plenty of votes from the diners. Levy, meanwhile, opted for beef tongue as his main and served the dry-aged cut with fermented daikon and ume mustard. A special negroni prepared by Okra’s bar manager, Sven Selbak, acted as the final element to the dish. Rounding off the meal was a delicious, layered dessert of salted toffee foam atop caramelised banana and a pecan nut cookie.
After this five-course tasting menu, the diners made their final decision and selected Anthony Burd as the winning chef. The Mercato chef joins Maison Es’ Esther Sham as Time Out Hong Kong’s Chef Showdown victors of 2018.
If you missed out on our Chef Showdown this time, or simply want to relive the best moments of the two-night event, we have a video here that’ll give you a taste of how everything went down. And of course, don't forget to check back for more tasty events from Team Time Out!