Late yesterday afternoon the House Foods Tofu Around the World Cook-off was held at the Astor Center, and winner was … wd-50’s Wylie Dufresne, whose high-tech creations trumped the efforts of Edward Higgins of Insieme, Akinobu Suzuki of Sakagura, and Erik Battes of Perry Street. Dufresne won $5,000 for his winning dishes, miso soup with instant tofu noodles and warm tofu custard with caramelized banana and granola sleeves. Grub Street reader Megan Canter was present at the event, got to taste the winning entry, and had this to say: “What a fun dish! The noodle ‘batter’ came in tiny squirt bottles with red caps — when squirted into the miso consommé, they firmed up pretty instantly. The soup itself was such a rich, concentrated flavor, really delicious.” Despite the fact that the contest was co-sponsored by the Gohan Society, which promotes Japanese gastronomy, not all the entries came from an Asian direction. Higgins presented tofu in carrozza, for example, and Battes crispy tofu with morels and sweet corn and lemongrass. The runners-up all got $500 checks, but not of the ceremonial oversize variety. That honor belonged to the mutton-chopped man from wd-50 alone.
Don’t spend it all on methylcellulose!