A Top Chef's Trick to Asian Cooking

A Top Chef's Trick to Asian Cooking
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A Top Chef's Trick to Asian Cooking

Top Chef's Sheldon Simeon shares tips for making Asian cuisine and more in this slideshow.

Image Credit: David Moir/Bravo

Use Agrumato Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Simeon recommends adding Agrumato Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Asian food for a flavorful surprise. The idea came to him while he was working at an Italian restaurant. "They did a crudo plate, and I always liked the flavor of ceviche, but I never liked how it cooked the fish," he says. "I saw that you could use lemon olive oil to get that flavor and you can put it on sashimi. It's my favorite ingredient; I put it in everything, and everyone is surprised to taste [it]."

Image Credit: David Moir/Bravo

Taste Your Food

"People forget to taste their food," he says. "Taste your food every time you add an ingredient in, and when it's finished. It's amazing just how much the seasoning of salt separates a good dish from a great dish, so taste your food!"

Image Credit: David Moir/Bravo

If You Like It, Make It

"Don’t be afraid to go out and try new foods," Simeon offers. "If there is something out there that you tasted and enjoyed, research it and don’t be afraid to try it; what do you have to lose."

Image Credit: David Moir/Bravo

Give Filipino a Go

"Filipino food is not meant to be fussy or difficult; it is a very rustic cuisine," explains Simeon. "There might be some new ingredients, but don’t be afraid; it's not that difficult. It's accessible to everyone, [as] you can find a lot of ingredients in the Asian markets now."

Image Credit: David Moir/Bravo


"[There was] a moment at Craft [when] we were in the middle of service and Chef Tom was barking his orders and I had a bunch of quail done," explains Sheldon Simeon, the most recently departed cheftestant from Bravo's Top Chef. "I just put all my utensils down, stopped and laughed. I looked up and [thought], 'what are you doing here?' It's been a hell of a run."

The Hawaiian chef, known for his Filipino and Asian dishes departed from his style in the finale, making a quail dish. "I've grown from the finale," he explains. "It made me remember that I am a product of my environment and to never forget where I came from. I'm going to continue to cook from my heart."

While Simeon continues to cook from the heart, he rarely has a chance to cook at home with his busy schedule as executive chef at Hawaii's Star Noodle. Still he and his wife grow Filipino vegetables in their garden which they later incorporate into meals. "Give me a big bowl of rice, a beer and some Filipino vegetables, and I'm good to go," he says.

Simeon was perhaps even busier while on the show than in his home routine. "Nobody actually sees how grueling it is," he says. "It's long days." Being away from family and his kitchen was another of the show's challenges, but he was thankful for the company he had while filming. "You are in the house with a ton of different personalities so it gets kind of heated sometimes, but I think we lucked out [with] the group we had this season," he says. "We all have grown this bond and this friendship that will hopefully last for a long time."

Check out the slideshow above to learn Simeon's advice for the home cook.

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