TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A housewife from Taiwan has had her unique culinary talents showcased to the world after winning gold in a Luxembourg food competition.
Huang Chiu-chi (黃秋娥) is an amateur cook that makes incredibly intricate works of art out of fondant icing. This year, she took one masterful creation all the way to Europe to participate in the Villeroy & Boch Culinary World Cup 2018.
The competition took place between Nov. 24 and 28. Over 2,000 eager culinary enthusiasts battled it out in a number of categories that included pastry art and architectural fruit and vegetable carving.
Catering teams from around the world featuring teachers, students and amateur chefs took part in the five-day event, where 13 gold medals were won in total, CNA reports.
The World Association of Chefs website says the competition largely focused on new culinary movements and healthy dietary practices. As such, a team from the environmentally-conscious Slow Food Taipei-Taiwan, as well as a delegation from the Taiwan Culinary Arts Association were in attendance.
Huang, who does not have a professional culinary background, spent three months perfecting her winning sculpture that depicts the Bull Demon King from classic Ming dynasty novel Journey to the West. To her delight, the fondant figure won gold in a group cooking category.
According to CNA, her creativity was showered with praise from judges, who commented that her work was inspirational.
Huang said she has loved drawing and painting since she was a child and began carving her way into the art world at a young age. She began sketching but gradually worked her way up to 3D model construction.
Her interest in fondant sculpture can be attributed to her love for working with clay; a similar kneading process must be used when working with both materials, she commented.
Huang said she was extremely pleased to win gold, as she invested a lot of time in her edible creation, working every day to perfect it. She is not technically a professional, she added, but her creative drive and passion for art ensured she never gave up during the learning process.
Taiwanese chefs and culinary artists won a number of other medals at the competition, including teacher at the Food and Beverage Management Department of Cheng Shiu University, Chen Yi-jun (陳怡君). Judges were wowed by the elaborate detail of her almond cake depiction of a tradition Taiwanese feast.
Chen Yi-jun's depiction of a traditional Taiwanese feast (CNA image)
The culinary school teacher with her creation (CNA image)