In March, the 2017 US Cranberry Cup Dessert and Dim Sum Professional Competition was successfully held in Guangzhou, China, the capital city of Guangdong province. This event was a joint effort among China Food Industry Association, Guangdong Culinary Education Group, Guangzhou Western Food Association and the Cranberry Marketing Committee. A total of 47 chefs from Guangzhou’s local restaurants, vocational schools, and major hotels, including some famous five-star brands such as Pullman and The Garden, competed in two categories. The two categories are namely, western desserts and Chinese dim sum (small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates, dim sum is a famous Guangdong cuisine).
During the competition, every competitor had to use cranberries to create two finished items, within the time limit of two hours, as entries into the competition. In the dessert competition, there were 28 competitors. They were given free hands to prepare their creations. Some used frozen cranberries as food decoration to make their products look more attractive and mouth-watering. In the dim sum category, each of the 19 competitors was required to make one cha shao bao (a steamed bun with barbecued pork as filling) and one other cranberry dim sum. Typically, the competitors blended cranberries into the sauce for the barbecued pork in cha shao bao.
The panel of judges for the dim sum category was headed by Mr Zhou Famao from Guangzhou Vocational School. Michael Rosenblum, the former executive chef of U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Beijing, served as head of the panel for the dessert category. Chef Michael also gave some general tips to the competitors on how to use cranberries in making desserts.
At the award ceremony in the evening of March 19, William Verzani, Deputy Director of Guangzhou ATO, was invited to address the participants. Mabel Zhuang also delivered a brief speech about US cranberry. The Special Golden Award for the dessert category was given to Mr Lin Shiyang while the award for the dim sum category went to Mr. Wen Zhibin. “Mr Lin’s Magic Cranberry Yurt Mousse Cake balanced taste and the innovative idea of using cranberries in a dessert. It also conveyed a message about having healthy desserts in daily life. Mr Wen’s Cranberry and Red Bean Pastry added cranberries to traditional red bean filling, making the pastry unique and delicious,” said one of the judges during the ceremony.