British Columbia

Vancouver's top chefs in dumpling cook off

Nine of Vancouver's top chefs will steam, fry and boil their way through a cook off tonight in an attempt to make the ultimate bite-sized morsel — the dumpling.

The competition is part of tonight's Chinatown Night Market

Xiao long bao are one of the most popular Chinese dumplings, but notoriously difficult to make. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

Nine of Vancouver's top chefs will steam, fry and boil their way through a cook off in an attempt to make the ultimate bite-sized morsel — the dumpling.

Competitors from Chambar, La Mezcalaria, Wild Rice, Wildebeest, Pidgin, Cibo, Sea Monstr Sushi, Harvest, and The Parker, will have their dumplings judged by a three-person panel at tonight's Chinatown Night Market.

These dumplings, an Asian interpretation of tortellini, were made by Curtis Luk. (Manusha Janakiram/CBC)

"Dumplings invite chefs to do his or her worst or best," said one of tonight's judges, Andrew Morrison, editor-in-chief of Scout Magazine.

Morrison said he expects the winning dumpling will satisfy the questions he asks of any dumpling:

  1. Is it a dumpling? Dumplings are at minimum something stuffed inside of a flour, potato or bread wrapping.
  2. Does it have a presentation that wows you? It doesn't have to be colourful, but it does need to be electric.
  3. Does it taste good? A good dumpling will kick you in the butt with a good broth or sauce to act as foil to what it has been stuffed with, and the dough will not be too chewy.
  4. How balanced is it? There shouldn't be too much air or too much "plump"
  5. Is it original? By far the toughest factor for a chef to deliver on, since chefs often reach too far to be original and when they over-reach, that's when the food goes to the dogs.

The dumpling cook off is tonight between 7 p.m. PT and 9 p.m. in the parking lot beside the Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer Street.

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