When “chef-testant,” Shirley Chung was eliminated from the Top Chef show’s final four episode in Hawaii in 2014, she graciously lamented about her performance saying, “I feel like I disappointed a lot of people, but I have to be honest and say that I agreed with the judges. I was simply not at my best caliber for the end of the competition or for the dish. Everything went wrong. It totally wasn’t my day.” A fan favorite, Chung had more than her share of triumphs during the season, having won several elimination competitions, producing dishes that were considered some of the judge’s favorites. There were uproars from the fans who believed one of the other “chef-testants” should have been eliminated instead.
Chung, also known as Chef Shirley, blamed part of her failure that day on some mishaps while cooking and presenting, and not having vegetables for one of her race competitions. “I had pork, sweet potato, turmeric and honey, but it was starch on starch on starch,” she said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun. Considering Chef Shirley will be leading one of Western Growers’ workshops during our Annual Meeting in November, we know she will have plenty of vegetables on hand to delight attendees with tasty, healthy dishes.
Despite the Hawaiian trade winds not being in her favor that day, Chung has taken that experience and moved on in her career. According to the article, she thought the results that day were a ”big win and not a loss.” Chef Shirley said she found her voice and the experience made her realize that although she spent more time in the management-side in restaurants, she now knows she can really cook. She calls her style of cooking “modern American cuisine with a Chinese soul.” Diners in Orange County can taste first-hand her inspirational and innovative menu of fun and shareable plates at her restaurant in Irvine called “Twenty Eight.”
To see Chef Shirley in person and experience her culinary delights, take this opportunity to register for the 90th Annual Meeting being held from November 8th-11th at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego. Registration includes admittance to all four workshops, including Chef Shirley’s cooking demonstration which will take place on Monday, November 9, 2015, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Ballroom A.
Book your hotel room HERE.
Become a sponsor HERE.
For more information, contact Randy Hause at (949) 885-2265.