Ever fancied cooking yourself a haute cuisine meal, on a limited budget and skill set? Turns out you can cook a gourmet feast for less than 100RMB. We gave two of Beijing's best young chefs
(okay, we'll admit that they're both incredibly skilled operators) 100RMB each and asked them to shop and prepare a show-stopping dinner for four anyone can (try to) cook at home.
Each chef is presented with a crisp 100RMB note and escorted to their local Jinkelong supermarket. Using only the ingredients purchased in-store that day, each chef must then turn their 100RMB bounty into dinner for four.
Style Modern Mediterranean
Style Modern Italian
Talib's meal (clockwise from top): Braised pork hock; Squid and radish salad; Cauliflower and mushroom soup with poached egg; Potatoes and bamboo; Oranges and milk. Total cost: 98.66RMB.
Aniello's meal (left to right): Chilli tortilla potato chips with vegetable dipping sauce; Duck leg in potato noodle ravioli; Green soup with fresh peas and roast kelp; Sweet potato, goji berries and yoghurt snow; Crumbed river fish with tomato tartare. Total cost: 99.96RMB.
Two markedly different uses of 100RMB, two knockout dinner parties. Some interesting takeaways: both chefs used a frozen milk-based product in their desserts, and both completely belied the humble nature.
Aniello Turco’s penchant for presentation is evident even here in this needlessly restrictive exercise. It’s all dazzling, but perhaps more impressive, if harder to see, is the mileage the Neapolitan transplant was able to coax from such modest groceries – 'Zero wastage was very important for this project,' says Turco. The duck meat ravioli is a masterstroke and makes for a terrific table centerpiece.
Less formal but certainly no less impressive, Talib Hudda’s high-rustic menu is every bit as visually stunning, and will appeal to those hosting a cuddlier, sharing dinner party. The balance between fatty hock and zesty watermelon radish salad makes it near impossible to stop at a sensible point in time, and the soup, decorated like Christmas and spiked with rich broth from the hock, is a dead-set sedative.
Check out the pictures below to find out how the chefs did it, and how you can recreate the dishes at home.