Round One Concludes
One by one, completed dishes made their way to the judges’ table. Dish after dish, the judges were impressed with the creative presentation and interesting flavour combinations. Contestants were judged based on their creativity, innovation and the taste of each dish. Once every dish had completed the taste test, scores were tabulated and the results were brought in. The top three dishes that had the highest
scores were Shahriar Naghshbandi’s Pan-seared Fjord Trout, topped with a refreshing lemon-dill yogurt sauce, resting on a lima bean, capsicum, corn and zucchini succotash, accompanied by confit cherry tomatoes with some tahchin tossed in lemon, garlic and basil on the side; Aldora Velonia’s Butter Poached Fjord Trout Fillet; and Raja Zahirah’s Tandoori Fjord Trout.
Now the Fun Begins…
After a quick random draw, the editors were paired with the finalists. Anida once again was paired with Raja Zahirah, Eena was paired with Shahriar, and Jay was paired with Aldora. Now that the teams were set, they had to quickly find a recipe from herinspirasi.com, and use only the available ingredients, to create a new dish featuring Norwegian Fjord Trout and McCormick spices. Being paired with someone you have never cooked with can be challenging, but all three teams seemed eager and excited to take on the challenge.
After 15 minutes of researching recipes and looking for the right ingredients, all three pairs headed to their stations to begin prepping. As the teams discussed their recipes, both Ili and Chef Jimmy went from station to station to share tips and give advice on how the finalists could achieve the dish they desired with ease.
Presented with a limited array of ingredients to create their dish, all teams had to get creative in tweaking their recipe to still showcase a flavorful and innovative dish. When the clock counted down from 10 seconds, each team rushed to put the final touches on their dish. Team Eena and Shahriar presented Grilled Asian Fjord Trout with Spicy Aglio Olio and Tomato Sauce; Team Anida and Raja Zahirah served Fjord Trout Satay with Kuah Kacang; and Team Jaya and Aldora created the Tom Yam Pasta with Pan-Fried Fjord Trout and Pickled Cucumber.
Third Time Lucky
Judges for the final round were Chef Jimmy, Ili, Shavin Kaur, product manager for McCormick, and Amelia Lim, head of marketing for Village Grocer. Once the dishes were placed on the judging table, all the judges quickly examined the presentation before digging in to taste-test each dish. It did not take very long for them to decide who would be named Best Home Cook 2019. Within minutes, Daphne was ready to announce the winner.
The second runner-up position went to Team Aldora and Jaya. Taking the second place was Team Shahriar and Eena, and the first place went to Raja Zahirah, who has taken part in the contest three years in a row. This time, her Fjord Trout Satay with Kuah Kacang (using peanut butter) unanimously won the hearts of the judges. All finalists took home cash prizes, vouchers from Norwegian Seafood Council and Village Grocer, as well as a hamper of products from McCormick.
Family and friends who came along to support and cheer contestants on didn’t go home empty-handed. They each received goodies from Norwegian Seafood Council, Village Grocer and McCormick.