written by priscilla
every year our company holds a christmas party with a themed competition, which aims to promote teamwork and understanding among colleagues. of course, the ultimate goal is to have fun!
this year, we ran our very own masterchef competition. the 5 6-member teams vied against each other for the prestigious title by creating a 3-course dinner for 4 within 2 hours. we were judged in the following 5 areas – taste, presentation, knife skills, creativity, and teamwork. with a set budget, our team “beauties & the beast” (we had 5 girls and 1 guy – lucky him) came up with an all-around-the-world menu.
the posh tartare – salmon tartare with caviar and guacamole
oceanic coconut curry – thai seafood curry with brussels sprouts and bacon
tasty kiwi lemon tarte
the posh tartare
the role of an appetizer is to start a meal refreshingly for the coming courses. it is essential to keep it light and tardy. to prepare this dish, fresh ingredients is key. having all ingredients served raw means you have to choose carefully – where they come from, and how they are handled and processed.
we seasoned the salmon lightly with salt, pepper, chives, and lemon juice, with extra virgin olive oil as the binding agent. salmon has a relatively soft texture. to add a little crunch, we mixed some finely-chopped onions into the salmon, layered the cherry tomatoes as the base, and topped it with the luxurious caviar. on the side, we served my signature guacamole, which gives a smooth ending to this appetizer.
oceanic coconut curry
i always believe a main course should be satisfying not only in terms of taste but also substance. the full, creamy texture of the coconut curry serves exactly that purpose.
the sauteed onions, baby eggplants, and green, red, and yellow peppers were stewed with the curry paste to incorporate the sweetness of the vegetables with the heat of the curry. lime is indispensable in thai curry, but must be used cautiously since the skin could overwhelm the sauce with an unforgiving bitterness. we pan-seared the prawns and scallops in garlic oil, drizzled the curry over, and served with rice that’s been cooked in coconut milk.
tasty kiwi lemon tart
who doesn’t love desserts? … boys! so we figured we needed a more neutral dessert rather than chocolate mousse, creme brulee, or strawberry milkshake. besides, the tardiness of the lemon balanced the sense of abundance from our curry and ends the meal brightly. in merely 2 hours, we managed to present a delicious lemon tart that impressed everyone! (p.s. there was no kiwi in the tart. the girl who created this dessert happened to be a kiwi haha)
it was not an easy challenge. internally, we had to collaborate ideas, delegate tasks, and communicate efficiently. externally, we had some fierce competitors, who presented some mouthwatering dishes like the juicy roasted chicken, the buttery lobster yi mein, the refreshing blueberry yogurt, and so many more. we were all pleasantly surprised by the hidden dragons in the office.
in the end, there could only be one winner. in a close fought contest, we were crowned the final honour of masterchef with our food and teamwork!
p.s. i was actually relieved. since many in the office knew i have a cooking blog, they had high expectations on me. glad i didn’t disappoint!