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Chef Ronnie does it again

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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BANGKOK: Chef Ronnie Macuja of the Phuket Cabana’s Sala Bua restaurant has scored a second huge victory in the New Asia Cuisine competition, once again beating top chefs from Bangkok in the contest, one of the highlights of the Asian Food & Catering Fair at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center. Chef Ronnie was the surprise winner in last year’s competition, beating entries from such prestigious hotels as The Oriental and the Shangri La. This year he outdid himself, being awarded a whopping 98 points out of 100 by a judges’ panel consisting of top international chefs. As in last year’s competition, the competing chefs received a list of ingredients a couple of days before the contest – in order to bring out their creativity –and were given just an hour on the day of the contest to prepare an “Asian Fusion” main course for four people. “I was scheduled for the third day of the competition,” Chef Ronnie told the Gazette. “Already, before me, the Shangri La had scored 96, so I thought, ‘I’m never going to beat that, but I’ll try anyway.'” He described the meal he prepared: “It was grass-fed New Zealand beef tenderloin with a confit of herbal potatoes and a vegetable vinaigrette, crowned by a warm salad of rock lobster. I finished it in 45 minutes, which I think helped to boost my score.” He was astonished when he saw the results – first place with a score of 98 out of 100, giving him a gold medal with distinction. Will he be able to top that score next year? Chef Ronnie laughed. “Oh, I don’t think so. I’ll probably have to retire.”

 

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