Innovation shown in carrot cutting
Many participants put their own spin on the food presentation: while some sliced their carrots into chrysanthemum shapes, others formed them into eagles. Some pushed the boundaries even more. For example, instead of mimicking the way Master Wan plated up his dish, contestant Lai Tat-ching separated the beef and broccoli, placing the meat on the left and vegetables on the right. He also deconstructed the traditional garnish of carrot, chopping them into tiny cubes and sprinkling them on top of his dish.
Contestant Helen Lo Kit-yi completed the challenge in the fastest time. She says the secret is to follow every step and try to multitask, if possible.
Apart from polishing her cooking skills, Helen entered this competition because she wanted to become closer to her father; he is also a Chinese chef and encouraged her to sign up to broaden her horizons. "My father told me it'd be a golden opportunity to learn different styles of cookery," Helen says.
Tutor: Master Wan
Kitchen experience: 50 years, including 30 years spent in Japan
Speciality: Chinese and Japanese cuisine
Lesson for contestants: serving cold dishes with top-quality hygiene; cleaning shelled seafood; meat and vegetable cutting
Comment: Wan (right) was glad to see contestants of their ages were able to control their flames so deftly. He says most of the contestants' dishes tasted better than many of those served in restaurants.
He suggests contestants should work on their cutting skills: in most cases, the beef and broccoli were not chopped evenly. He also says the sauce should be more consistent as well, which is achieved by adding more cornstarch and less water when mixing.
This week, the contestants picked up all the basics they need. From next week on, two of them will face elimination after each round. Follow Young Post's Young Master Chef coverage every Friday, and stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and website for photos and updates.