Tuesday, May 22, 2012

tea lover's festival - battle of the bakers

saturday afternoon i was lucky enough to attend a special event at the tea lover's festival, a month-long festival in los angeles dedicated to the aromatic beverage. the battle of the bakers pitted two master chefs - kristy choo of venice's jin patisserie and robert wemischner, who wrote the book cooking with tea - in a friendly competition for the best tea-infused desserts covering three separate challenges.

chefs robert & kristy
the high profile throwdown took place at the hip café/art space royal T in culver city and cost $45 a head for the general public. i was a guest of kristy's, but it turned out to be an event i would have been more than happy to shell out for. each chef was responsible for crafting three desserts to pair with three different teas - japanese matcha, jasmine and the smoky lapsang souchong - and were graded by the public on overall deliciousness. afterwards, the scores were tallied up at the conclusion to determine the winner.

matcha/rhubarb parfait
a 10 for the jasmine brulée
choc cake w/sesame cracker
choc mousse w/candied hazelnuts

both chefs turned out delectable desserts in a scant 30-minute window, but i thought kristy's trio - highlighted by her orgasmic jasmine tea brulée sandwich - honored the flavor of each tea the best. nevertheless, robert won out by the narrowest of margins - although the real winners were all of us who got to sample such incredible food.

afterwards, i helped them pack up and take all the equipment back to jin, where i was able to sneak in a few snaps as they were closing...

mural off abbot kinney

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