Hanging with Ming Tsai at Buick Discovery Tour with Food+Wine Magazine

It’s interesting to see how different passions can cross over, comingle, and complement each other perfectly. I was able to experience this first hand when Buick partnered with Food+Wine magazine for a test drive event at the swank St. Regis Monarch Hotel in Dana Point, CA.

Known as the Buick Discovery Tour, the event was well attended by foodies and car lovers alike. There may have been some disagreement between the two camps on what the highlight of the event was – the superstar chefs or the cars – but everyone still enjoyed themselves.

For the car lovers, the draw was the chance to get behind the wheel of one of Buick’s latest creations. Among the stunning vehicles that looked like works of art next to the equally beautiful St. Regis were the LaCrosse, the Enclave, and – the one I got to drive – the Buick Regal.

Along with stretching the legs of a brand spanking new car on Pacific Coast Highway, the foodies were excited about tasting food prepared by celebrity chefs Ben Roche of Moto in Chicago and Josiah Citrin chef/owner of Mélisse in Santa Monica.

The big name on the ticket, though was celebrity chef, Ming Tsai. He headlined the event with a demonstration on his now classic east-meets-west recipes and techniques. You may know him from his various apperanaces on Food Network and his current show, Simply Ming on PBS.

First up from Chef Ming was chicken chow mein. It featured thick, hearty noodles with green peppers, carrots, and a blanched chicken.

Chicken Chow Mein Cooked, Buick Food+Wine at St Regis Monarch, Dana Point 103

Chef Min Tsai's Chicken Chow Mein.

Next up was a sweet and sour pork served over rice. The treat with this one was its exclusivity: only six servings were prepared by Chef Ming himself. Everyone got to try the chicken chow mein but only a few lucky folks from the audience would get a chance to try the pork. To get in, audience members had to answer a question with facts from the Buick test drive and cooking demonstrations earlier in the day.

I was so fortunate to get the chance to answer a question and got it right! I slooooowly answered the question – recite the six S’s of wine tasting – to make sure I got it right: See, Swirl, Smell, Sip, Savor, and Spit…or Swallow!

Having answered the question correctly, I scored a bowl of the prized sweet and sour pork from Chef Ming himself. Of course, I had to take a picture.

Chef Ming Tsai hands me a dish of his Sweet and Sour Pork on 2012-01-15  at Buick Food+Wine at St Regis Monarch, Dana Point 104

Chef Ming Tsai hands me a dish of his Sweet and Sour Pork.

Buick is continuing their Discovery test drive events and partnership with Food+Wine magazine. They’ll be coming to SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills this weekend (January 21-22). While the same chefs might not be cooking, I’m sure the food will be just as delicious. Oh, and the cars will be there to drive too!

* I was invited to this event by representatives of Buick. Buick Discovery Tour events are free and open to the public. However, registration via their website or at the event is required to attend and participate.

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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

2 Responses to “Hanging with Ming Tsai at Buick Discovery Tour with Food+Wine Magazine”

  1. Wow. That looks like a fun event to attend! Especially because of Ming Tsai. I love his show on PBS! Congrats on winning the exclusive dish, I bet it tasted amazing…

  2. Hey, Adri! Yes! It was a fun event to attend. Chef Ming is a pretty cool guys and yeah, the sweet and sour pork was tasty! Oddly enough, my favorite part was the rice. I can never get my rice to taste that good at home. Haha!