Wine & Food Week 2012 competition determines ‘Chef of Chefs’

Several chefs, including Chef Roberto Castre of Latin Bites Cafe, will compete against one another during a Wine & Food Week event to determine who is the ‘Chef of Chefs.’

The Wine & Food Week Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase will take place on Saturday, June 9 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Woodlands Marriott Waterway on 1601 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands. The Water Crystal Chef of Chefs Award will be presented at the event where 50 chefs will compete for a $5,000 cash and prize package.

During a visit to “FOX 26 Morning News Extra,” Chef Roberto Castre demonstrated how to prepare Pulpo al Olivio, a Sashimi-style thinly-sliced octopus on a homemade olive creamy sauce, and previewed the Chef of Chefs competition. Castre was named the 1st runner-up during the 2011 Chef of Chefs competition.

Chef Castre was set to compete in Wine & Food Week 2010 when Latin Bites, then a catering company, had just begun to flourish as a small restaurant off Nance Street near downtown Houston. Instead, he donated a kidney to owner Carlos Ramos that summer. With the restaurant, Castre, and Ramos flourishing in 2011, Chef Castre competed for the first time in the Wine & Food Week Chef of Chefs competition and came in 2nd! The restaurant has moved to a larger location off Woodway Drive and is packing in patrons understandably enamored with the Latin-infused cuisine.

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Castre decided he wanted to be a chef since he was 13 years old. He attended Escuela de Alta Cocina from Los Andes culinary school in Peru, where he learned the basic skills that allowed him to begin his career as a chef. Later he moved to United States, and worked in restaurants in Miami, New York, and Texas.
Over the years, Chef Castre has been able to achieve a remarkable taste thanks to his creativity in the fusion of Latin flavors. His passion for food has allowed him to develop a variety of cooking techniques, from traditional to the latest trends in modern cuisine such as molecular gastronomy. His knowledge of Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian and New American Cuisines has been reflected in his style, which pays close attention to the balance between delicate flavor and sophisticated appearance. Those flavors and appearance also have a strong connection with his Peruvian background. Chef Castre enjoys sharing and promoting the Peruvian gastronomy through his cooking.

Chef Castre started Latin Bites Catering in 2009 , a catering company inspired by the exquisite flavors of the Latin American cuisine. Later in August 2010, he opened Latin Bites Cafe. Both, Latin Bites Cafe & Catering represent the culture, tradition and heritage of one of the richest, most diverse and sophisticated cuisines of the world.

Tickets cost $125 in advance for the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase, presented by Capital One Bank.


Pulpo al Olivo (Octopus Tiradito with Olive creamy Sauce) — Chef Roberto Castre of Latin Bites Cafe

For the octopus:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 red onion
  • 3lb Octopus
  • 1tbl salt

 

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbl Olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 3oz of paste of olive (made from 4 large Peruvian Botija Olives)
  • Salt and Pepper

 

For the sweet potato puree

  • 1 sweet potato
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • A pinch of anise

 

For the Choclo (Peruvian Corn on the cob)

  • ½ cup of choclo corn kernels
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 clove
  • A pinch of anise

 

For the garnish

  • 5 oz Green onions
  • 2 limo peppers
  • 2 oz fl Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 oz micro cilantro

 

Preparation

To cook the octopus
Bring water to a boil in a large pot, and boil the octopus, with the onion , tomato and salt for aprox 45 min. Once it’s ready, take away from heat, let it get cold and finely cut the octopus in thin slices.

For the sauce:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it has a nice creamy and silky consistency.

For the corn:
Bring water to a boil and put all the ingredients. Boil for 10 minutes. Take away from the heat, and let it get cold.

For the sweet potato puree:
Cut the sweet potatoes in round pieces, cover with water and boil with the sugar and cloves until tender. Take away from heat and refrigerate. Later mixed them in the food processor, add water if necessary to obtain a puree consistency.
Clean the aji limo, (Peruvian chili pepper) and cut it in little cube pieces.

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