Meet Chef Hung Huynh: From Catch to Chopped and beyond
Hung Huynh is a Vietnamese-American chef who is best known for his work as the executive chef at Catch, a seafood restaurant in New York City. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at several high-profile restaurants, including Le Bernardin and Aquavit.
He gained national recognition as the winner of the third season of the Bravo television series Top Chef and has since gone on to open his own restaurant and publish a cookbook.
Huynh is known for his modern and creative take on traditional Vietnamese cuisine, as well as his emphasis on using high-quality ingredients and precise techniques. He is also known for his dedication to preserving traditional cooking techniques and incorporating them into his cooking.
An Introduction to Chef Hung Huynh: Top Chef Winner and Innovative Vietnamese Cuisine
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- Use a variety of cooking methods: Chef Huynh suggests using different cooking methods, such as grilling, sautéing, and stir-frying, to bring out the unique flavors of different vegetables.
- Don’t overcook the vegetables: Chef Huynh advises to not overcook the vegetables, as this can cause them to lose their texture and flavor. Instead, cook them just until they are tender but still have a bit of crunch.
- Season the vegetables properly: Chef Huynh stresses the importance of properly seasoning the vegetables, to bring out their natural flavors and make them more delicious.
- Use high-quality oils: Chef Huynh suggests using high-quality oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil when cooking vegetables to add a rich flavor.
- Be mindful of the timing: Huynh advises being mindful of the timing when cooking vegetables, as different types of vegetables will have different cooking times.
- Mix and match flavors: Huynh suggests trying different flavor combinations and experimenting with different herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the vegetables.
- Respect the vegetable: Chef Huynh advises treating each vegetable with respect, and to cook them in a way that accentuates their unique characteristics.
- Keep it simple: Chef Huynh believes that sometimes the best way to cook vegetables is to keep it simple and let the natural flavors shine.
Chef Hung Huynh, A Master of Grilled Eggplant with Miso Glaze
Grilled Eggplant with Miso Glaze:
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 clove of garlic or 1 tablespoon of grated ginger can be added to the miso glaze for extra flavor.
- Start by selecting high-quality eggplants that are firm and free of blemishes. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices.
- Mix together a miso glaze made with white miso, sake, mirin, and sugar, and brush it over the eggplant slices.
- Grill the eggplant slices over high heat until they are tender and slightly charred on the outside.
- As you grill the eggplant, Chef Huynh suggests paying attention to the eggplant as it can burn easily, so rotate and move them around the grill as necessary.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, remove it from the grill and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
- Chef Huynh suggests serving the eggplant as a side dish or over rice for a complete meal.
- To enhance the flavor, you can also add some chopped garlic or ginger to the miso glaze before brushing it on the eggplant.
- Always taste the dish, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
As Chef Huynh emphasizes the importance of using high-quality ingredients, it is recommended to use the best quality eggplants, miso, sake, mirin, and oil that you can find. You can adjust the proportion of the ingredients according to your taste, and you can also use vegetable broth or soy sauce instead of sake if you don’t have it. You can serve the eggplant as a side dish or over rice for a complete meal.
Where we can find Chef Hung Huynh
As of our knowledge cutoff in 2021, Chef Hung Huynh is no longer the executive chef at Catch, where he was known for his seafood dishes. He has since opened his own restaurant and works as a chef consultant. He also appears as a judge on the cooking competition show Chopped and as a guest chef on other shows. He also has a website where he shares some of his recipes, tips, and events. You can also follow him on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates on his current projects and events.