Third Annual Taste of Waldorf Astoria Celebrates Winning Bar + Bites Pairings

Wednesday evening we celebrated the third annual Taste of Waldorf at the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. The hotel opened on June 1st and it is everything you would expect from the iconic luxury brand.

This year’s challenge, presented by Visa, was to transform happy hour into the “Fifth Hour: Bar + Bites”, an update to the time-honored ritual using innovative themes that mirror the sophisticated and elegant style of each property.

5 Waldorf Executive Chefs and 5 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef Semi-Finalists competed to be named the winner of this year’s Taste of Waldorf Astoria by creating two small bites that pair perfectly with an original cocktail and mocktail. The journey from plate to palate and the chef’s skill to create an unforgettable food and beverage pairing was the key component of judging criteria.

The panel of judges included the fabulous Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Erik Bruner-Yang, owner and chef of Maketto in D.C. who won last year’s competition, Marc Ehrler, Taste of Waldorf Asotria Chef and Vice President of Culinary Americas for Hilton, and Adam Rapoport, Editor in Chief of Bon Appétit Magazine.

Chef Jean-Georges opened his first west coast restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and it could not be a better fit. The cuisine is out of this world and a can’t miss for anyone in the area.

Padma Lakshmi, New York Times best-selling author, host and executive producer of Top Chef fabulously emceed the event, which concluded the Taste of Waldorf Competition where James Beard Foundation Rising Star Finalist chefs had partnered with Waldorf Astoria Executive Chefs for weeklong collaborations back in 2016.

The winning dish, Beet-Cured Steelhead Trout paired with Rye & Shine Prosecco cocktail and Spicy Togarashi Prawn paired with Ginger Yuzu Asian Pear Mo(ck)jito came from Waldorf Astoria Park City. This winning team is comprised of Waldorf Astoria Executive Chef Michael Zachman and James Beard Foundation Rising Star Finalist Chef Alex Bois. Chef Alex Bois is currently the Owner and Head Baker at the new Lost Bread Co. in Philadelphia.

park-city-winner-590x525Photo Credit: Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

The dish joins last year’s winning dish, the Jing Roll, the 2015 winning dish Celery Root Risotto Alla Waldorf, and a lineup of famous dishes that were first created at Waldorf Astoria such as Red Velvet Cake, The Waldorf Salad, and Eggs Benedict.

The dish is hitting the menu at each of the 26 Waldorf Astoria hotels and resorts worldwide, introducing an unexpected new happy hour experience for today’s luxury travelers.