Chef Benoit Chargy of Waldorf Astoria Beijing and Chef Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground, Maketto and Honeycomb Grocer in Washington, D.C won the second annual Taste of Waldorf Astoria Tuesday night in New York City. Their dish, Jing Roll, Chinese Napa cabbage wrapped around a delicate filling of minced Wagyu beef with black mushrooms and Chinese chili peppers, hoisin sauce, local salted duck eggs, okra and sweet purple potatoes, will be added to the menu at 25 Waldorf Astoria restaurants around the world.
The Jing Roll now joins the hotel chain’s famous Taste of Waldorf Astoria dishes, a collection of signature dishes beloved the world over. The hotel chain’s most famous inventions include Eggs Benedict, red velvet cake and the Waldorf Salad.
“Jing Roll was great,” James Beard Foundation Rising Star Semi-Finalist Chef David Posey, the winner of last year’s Taste of Waldorf and one of this year’s judges told us. “My favorite part of this dish is just the balance. It was crunchy with the mushrooms, tender with the Wagyu and the cabbage – there was a deep, deep flavor in all the Asian condiments…I loved it.”
The annual competition pairs five Waldorf Astoria master chefs from around the world with five James Beard Foundation Rising Star Semi-finalists. The James Beard Foundation Rising Star Semi-finalists apprenticed with the master chefs. Each duo is tasked with creating their own signature dish with the ultimate goal of creating the hotel chain’s next iconic dish – a tall order.
“You invent it in one country and have to make it in another,” Bruner-Yang, who said the creation of the Jing Roll began last October, told us. The challenge was making a dish out of ingredients that don’t go out of season and can be made all the time.
This year’s competition included five technically complicated and exquisitely plated dishes. The competition included:
The winning dish was determined by a panel of five culinary expert judges that included Posey, who will soon open elske in Chicago; Chef Wylie Dufresne of the now shuttered Manhattan restaurants wd~50 and Alder; Questlove of The Roots and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; Adam Sachs, editor-in-chief of SAVEUR; and Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation; and guests who attended the event, which included Chef Heinz Beck of Rome Cavalieri, who, paired with Posey, won last year’s competition with Celery Root alla Waldorf, a modern take on a celery root 'risotto' with apple, hazelnut and black truffle, journalists and food bloggers.
On the heels of this win, Waldorf Astoria today is rolling out a slate of three-night culinary packages that will allow guests to have their own Taste of Waldorf Astoria. Options include a private cocktail workshop with the hotel’s lead mixologist at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, an exclusive yachting afternoon of fresh fish and cocktails at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, and exploration of the local fish market with a Master Chef to select ingredients for the evening meal at Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.