The 2009 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen: Day 2 Con’t

Let me tell you – Day 2 was long! But fabulous! After my morning session with Chef Michael Chiarello and organic farmer Peter Jacobsen, I ventured to the Grand Tasting tent. After running into a few of my Vegas Uncork’d friends – Tony Abou-Ganim and Steve Olson – I made my way to the Asian Tapas demo with Chef Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger. Not surprisingly, he’s just as entertaining in person as he is on television.

Chef Ming Tsai in mid-cooking at 2009 Aspen Food & Wine

Ming opened with a fabulous Ginger Margarita demo, noting that you should always use 100% Agave tequila. While mixing his drinks, and starting work on his tempura, he commented that he was once asked what he would say on television if he was cooking something, and it didn’t taste good. “I would absolutely lie!”

Other notes from Ming’s demonstration:

  • When making tempura, Tsai suggests using rice flour and cold club soda. Also – don’t drop it from up high when placing battered items into the frying oil. He recommends canola. Cook until it’s ‘GBD’ – Golden Brown and Delicious.
  • Potstickers were actually a mistake. A Chinese chef was busy making dumplings and accidentally left them cooking for too long – making potstickers instead.
  • Ming inquired as to whether the crowd knew that Judaism predates the Chinese culture by 300  years. “Where did all the Jews eat for 300 years?”
  • Crowd question – Ming’s favorite cookbook? Escoffier. Nowadays? “Google.”
  • He suggests using boxed wine in the kitchen. Due to the packaging, it doesn’t oxidize like other wines.

Chef Ming Tsai

Look for my upcoming Daily Blender Exclusive interview with Ming Tsai later this week!

~Jennifer Heigl

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