Congee is comfort food, rice porridge that’s soul-satisfying and hot, says Chef Mei Lin, who’s currently sous chef at ink., the restaurant in West Hollywood opened by Top Chef Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio.
“The dish means a lot of me because it’s the first thing my grandfather taught me how to cook, and that’s one of those memories that will always stay with me,” she tells us while prepping the dish. At the challenge, the first-ever Top Chef Food Festival, she had just three hours to cook up a dish she’d be presenting alongside some of Boston’s great chefs, including Barbara Lynch, Todd English, Jasper White, and Ming Tsai.
With this incredible pork congee, she won the challenge, beating out 14 other chef’testants. Here’s what the judges had to say about her dish:
“Congee is usually very, very simple, but she added so much to it.” – Gail Simmons
“It was really flavorful, at times surprising…there were some crispy bits, there are sweet notes, some sour notes. I found really no flaws in the dish at all, nice work.” – Tom Colicchio
“The chef that won did a dish that I just think really displayed laser-beam precision. And was a dish that was not only appropriate for a food festival but probably a fine dining restaurant.” – Richard Blais
What will be your quote? Cook this winning dish at home the week of October 27th and judge the congee for yourself.
Top Chef fans can cook this meal for free with their first order by visiting this page.