Joseph Trans wins Gold 2018 Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs Competition
Victoria, BC – September 24, 2018 – Joseph Tran took first place and the Gold Medal as the Canadian National Representative at the prestigious 42nd Concours International des Jeunes Chefs (Young Chefs) Rôtisseurs Competition held in Keelung, Taiwan on September 7, 2018. The competition, open to young cooks under the age of 27, was hosted and sponsored by La Chaine des Rôtisseurs. Additional sponsors include Cordon Bleu (France), Chef's Hat (Canada) and CKU Culinary University (Taipei).
Twenty-two of the world’s finest young chefs were chosen for 2018 through selection competitions held in their respective countries. Competitors came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA. Joseph qualified for the competition by winning the Canadian National Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition last October in Ottawa, ON.
The competition has a long and storied history, having first been organized in 1977 in Switzerland to support and promote future young chefs. Forty-two years later, it still provides each young competitor with a week of educational culinary experiences, and the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a competitive environment with their peers, showcasing their talents and creativity in an international arena.
A panel of 12 internationally certified chefs, all members of the Chaine des Rôtisseurs, judged the competition, awarding marks for taste, presentation, originality and kitchen technique. As the Gold Medalist, Michael received a first place prize of a 5 week advanced culinary course at le Cordon Bleu, Paris, sponsored by le Cordon Bleu and the Chaine des Rôtisseurs; and an executive chef attaché case with a complete set of professional knives, sponsored by Wüsthof. He also received a set of professional Wüsthof carving knives for his exceptional skills and organization in the kitchen during the competition
Each competitor was given four hours in which to compose a menu and prepare a three-course meal for four persons using ingredients presented in a “black box”. Compulsory ingredients this year included blue crab, lamb rack, chia seeds, banana, tofu, porcini mushroom and cream cheese. Contestants are required to use at least 50% of each of the above mentioned items and could compliment them from a large array of non-mandatory items such as fresh octopus, beef tongue, duck liver, and sweetbreads.
Joseph created a menu consisting of:
• Appetizer: Blue Crab and Shrimp Terrine, Tofu and chive puff, miso Aioli, Scallon Beurre Blanc
• Main Course: Marbled Lamb Rack, Salt Baked Lamb Cap Stuffed Potato , Braised Leeks and carrot, Soy and Porcini Jus
• Dessert: Banana and cream cheese mousse, citrus sable, white chocolate and Passion fruit Macaroon
About Joseph Tran
At 25 years of age, Joseph has already been cooking for a decade, he started in his father’s restaurant in London, Ontario as a dishwasher and his hard work brought him to the line. Food has always been an important part of Tran’s life, and although slim in build, he loves to eat! His favourite meals are home-made dishes, such as a vermicelli bowl with spring rolls and, originating from Vietnam, his background has significantly influenced his style of cooking. Playing with flavour and texture profiles has his dishes dancing between sweet and sour, and crispy and chewy, each bite a surprise to the senses.
After realizing his passion for cooking, Tran took culinary skills and culinary management at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario in 2013. After graduating, Joseph began working in a local hotel restaurant. Tran’s talent was quickly recognized by his Chef in London, who suggested that Tran be mentored by Chef Takashi Ito of Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C. Chef Ito travelled from Victoria to interview Tran and recognizing the potential in this young cook, hired Joseph to work at AURA waterfront restaurant + patio, Inn at Laurel Point’s acclaimed restaurant.
In his two years at AURA, Tran’s dedication and zeal has resulted in his rapid rise up the culinary ladder to his current position as first cook. Although Joseph is quiet and humble, his personality and talent are anything but as he constantly experiments with new dishes and combinations. Always looking to improve, Tran observes his surroundings and regularly asks questions, leaving no stone unturned. He has even taken his work home with him, creating a professional kitchen of his own, complete with a deep fryer.
This bright young man started competing while he was in culinary school, and thrived in the competitive environment. Most notably Tran has taken second place in a national cooking competition, and first place in B.C. Iron Chef, he says it is the thrill and the rush that attracts him to compete. His calm demeanor may make him seem like a dark horse, but he is a force to be reckoned with.
Practicing for his latest competition was a group effort, led by Executive Chef Takashi Ito, and supported by the culinary team at Inn at Laurel Point. Noting that no matter how much you practice, when it comes to the black box, you have no idea what you will be working with – an element he loves. Tran stated that “if it wasn’t for the chefs and mentors that took the time and resources to train me and insure I was able to compile extensive Black Box experience in preparation for the International competition over the past year, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have. Chef Takashi Ito and David Tetrault decided to allow me to participate in a number of Canadian Regional Chaine competitions over the year, including Vancouver where I met Chef Hamid Salimian and Chef Scott Jaegar and Winnipeg we’re I met Chef Takashi Murakami and Chef Cameron Huley. I am also particularly grateful to Executive Chef Takashi Ito and Chef Manpreet (restaurant chef at Aura) for being my mentors. Each of these Chefs was generous with their time and helped shape my performance in Taiwan. Their influence pushed me to do my best, yet to have fun and do what I love.”
One ingredient, however, will always be a challenge for Tran, as he has a severe shellfish allergy. When using the ingredient, Tran says he wears layers of gloves, and takes extra care. Joseph has become an expert at blind seasoning seafood, since he cannot actually taste a dish containing it.
Tran’s diverse skillset makes it hard to believe he is only 25-years-old. For Tran, it is his love of creating, curiosity and passion for learning that drives him to excel in all areas of the kitchen.
About La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. The society has both non-professional “gastronome” and culinary professional members in more than 75 countries around the world. For more information on the society in Canada and internationally, please visit the website at canada.chainedesrotisseurs.com.