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“Taste Taiwan” Culinary Event
By Published January 15, 2014
Los Angeles, California, January 14th, 2014 – The Taiwan Tourism Bureau hosted the “Taste Taiwan” Culinary Tour Show Premiere at Executive Chef Bryant Wigger’s Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena, California, from 5pm to 6:30pm on January 14th, 2014.
This event was the result of Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s Taste Taiwan campaign, a Chef Nomination contest launched in October 2013. The contest selected three award-winning chefs from Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver, Canada, to participate in the culinary tour. Chef Bryant Wigger of Trattoria Neapolis, Chef Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen in New York and Chef Thomas Heinrich of Mosaic Bar and Grille at Hyatt Regency in Vancouver recently returned from an eight-day culinary trip in Taiwan, which was documented and produced as a Taste Taiwan 30-minute show to air on the Discovery Channel in February 2014.
More than 125 guests, including media, tour operators, travel agents and consumers, attended this event to watch the Taste Taiwan show which follows the chefs visiting Taiwan’s finest restaurants, fresh produce markets, street foods, and culinary institutes as well as partaking in other adventures along the way. In addition, Chef Bryant introduced his new special Taiwanese dish inspired by the trip. The guests were the first to taste this dish, infused with Taiwanese influences, which will be available at Trattoria Neapolis for the month of January.
Chef Bryant shared with the guests his behind-the-scene photos and personal experience of the trip: “Taiwan is a country of beauty and proud culture. The things that impressed me the most are the quality of the markets with the amazing seafood, produce and meat that is available on a daily basis. The people are happy to share their culture with you and their way of life to help you to understand what their daily life is like…. I would recommend Taiwan to anyone because the people are so friendly, the food is some of the best that I have had and the scenery is so amazing.”
The chefs featured in the Taste Taiwan show are:
Los Angeles: Chef Bryant Wigger of Trattoria Neapolis
After earning his degree in Culinary Arts, Chef Bryant worked in the kitchens of various 4- and 5-star hotels throughout southern California. Under his direction, the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in San Diego’s Vivace restaurant was awarded the Four Diamond award three years in a row and was voted Best Italian Restaurant in San Diego. Chef Bryant was most recently at the prestigious Four Seasons Los Angeles, where he took the helm of the renowned Four Seasons Sunday Brunch and started the much- admired farmers-market-driven station. With nearly 20 years of experience, Chef Bryant brought his experience in Italian fine dining to Trattoria Neapolis. While paying respect to the culinary traditions of southern Italy, he creates dishes inspired by his love for California’s locally-grown and seasonal ingredients.
New York: Chef Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen
Chef Michael Ferraro’s interest in food began around his family’s kitchen table. His experience in New York’s most prestigious kitchens includes the Beacon Restaurant, Jean-Georges restaurants, Fifty Seven Fifty Seven at the Four Seasons Hotel, the Biltmore Room and Café Centro. Chef Michael began his work at Delicatessen in 2008, elevating the restaurant’s cuisine and keeping the menu fresh and fun season after season. He also serves as Executive Chef of macbar, Delicatessen’s single-concept sister restaurant fully dedicated to gourmet macaroni and cheese, which opened in 2009. Chef Michael was selected as a member of the inaugural class of Zagat’s 30-Under-30 New York in 2011. He has appeared on numerous national television spots, such as the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise, CBS’s Saturday and Sunday morning shows and Cooking Channel’s Food(ography). He has also competed on Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America. Most recently, Chef Michael took home the grand prize at the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Soup’er Sandwich competition.
Vancouver: Chef Thomas Heinrich of Mosaic Bar and Grille, Hyatt Regency
An Australian native, Chef Thomas Heinrich began his career in Sydney before moving to New York City, where he honed his culinary skills as Sous Chef at the prestigious Fifty Seven Fifty Seven restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. Returning to Australia, he accepted the role of Executive Chef at one of Sydney’s most respected fine-dining restaurants, Deep Blue Bistro. He was honored as one of Australia’s “most creative chefs” and later found his way back to the United States as Chef de Cuisine at the Michelin-star-awarded Seasons Restaurant in Chicago. Chef Thomas was then recruited by Hyatt Regency Chicago as Executive Sous Chef for Hyatt’s flagship property. After quickly displaying his talents and abilities, he was promoted to Executive Chef at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Quality ingredients, meticulous preparation and a genuine love for flavor allow his culinary dishes to speak for themselves.
Chef Bryant’s Taiwan-inspired Dish Five Spice Roasted Pork Belly - Organic Polenta, Sautéed Chinese Broccoli, Meyer Lemon, Fried Baby Shrimp This dish is inspired by the chef’s lunch at the Luoshan organic farm’s lunch, and other pork dish he tasted along the trip. He added in dried baby shrimp which he also had tried in the market for a special flavor
For more details, visit: www.tastetaiwan2013.com
About the Taiwan Tourism Bureau:
The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is the official government agency responsible for domestic and international tourism policy development and execution. The bureau has three North American branch offices, in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
For information about Taiwan, please visit: www.go2taiwan.net
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