After the huge success of the first ever Zrou Annual Chili Cook-off last year, the event returns for a glorious second installment. This year’s competition will showcase 12 China Celebrity Chef Teams from popular venues, cooking simultaneously and creating chili recipes to woo both judges and guests alike, at everyone's favorite enormous bar and indoor sports center, Cages.
To snag a ticket for just RMB100 (they'll be RMB120 at the door) click here or scan the QR code:
A ticket gets you unlimited free-flow chili plus a Budweiser, as well as the ability to vote for your favorite chili after sampling them all.
Without further ado, this year's chef lineup!
Chef Jason Oakley | Cages
Jason's chef trajectory spans Las Vegas, San Francisco Napa wineries, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Dubai. As executive Chef and Partner of Cages, Jason brings the rich flavors of the American south to the Cages kitchen, presenting classic American cuisine to diners.
Chef Thijs Oomens | Tacolicious
Famed chef of Tacolicious, this Netherlands-native is always pushing the boundaries with culinary cooking styles spanning the globe. From weekly taco specials featuring ingredients from India to Africa to Turkey to Columbia to working the food festival circuit, chef Thijs always has something yummy up his sleeve.
Chef Lucky Lasagna | Italo
An Italian with a gypsy heart living in China, Lucky has decided to be more than a chef – 'a momma' – for everyone by cooking from his heart. He loves living his life by creating delicious food that makes his guests smile.
Chef Chhaya | Swaad India
Chef Chhaya is an innovative and creative Indian chef who gained practical experience by experimenting and developing fusion recipes. With her many successes, she has been recognized as the Creator of Zrou Indian Dishes, and many Indian and Chinese restaurants in Shanghai have invited her to showcase her talents. Chhaya also runs cooking groups, sharing her passion and recipes to spread Indian food love.
Chef Conrad Van Den Heever | Bloom
From South Africa, Chef Van Den Heever was named the youngest Michelin chef in South Africa for two years in a row. He tells his story through food – what you see is not just a delicious dish, but a profound painting. He served as Executive Chef in South Africa's most prestigious De Grende winery and led the team to win countless awards there. Van Den Heever has worked for The Test Kitchen, ranked 22nd in the world, along with other Michelin restaurants in London. Over the past 10 years, he's focused on studying the fusion of Chinese and Western cuisines.
Chef Dan Li
Chef Dan Li comes from a multi-disciplinary background, having spent years as an architect and project manager in a commercial architecture firm. He also led multiple F&B-focused interior design projects. Li uses this same creativity and adaptability in his style of cooking at Bird Wine + Kitchen and Egg, through both passion and devotion.
Inspired by his home in Xinjiang, and his travels throughout the American East Coast, Chef Dan bridges these two food scenes, bringing together the vibrancy of New York, soulfulness of New Orleans and bistronomy movement of Paris and Copenhagen. Combining local ingredients and traditions with modern culinary techniques, he believes in the honesty, comfort and sustainability of food to be experienced in a contemporary setting.
Chef Derrick Yu | naked Bite / naked Castle
Derrick Yu is currently working at naked Castle Resort under the naked Group as the naked Taste Chef. He has also worked for Marriott, Hyatt, Accor and other hotels, and has nearly 14 years of kitchen experience. At present, he focuses on vegan research and development of food, making use of the gift of nature to re-understand the way we eat. He aims to find health and happiness in cooking.
Chef Eric Wang | Kikaboni / naked Stables
Eric Wang is the Western chef at naked Stables. He previously worked at Shanghai City Hotel, the Nanjiao Hotel and renowned restaurant Mesa. Nearly 15 years of working experience has made him committed to organic ingredients of both local and foreign fusion cuisine, and the combination of classic and modern techniques. He helps serve guests green, organic, healthy and delicious food at naked Stables resorts.
Chef Jonathan He | COOOOK
Jonathan He, food developer of COOOOK – a new brand based on the concept of ready-to-cook products – was previously a chef for Happy Place Hospitality Group, Commune Social and Azul. With almost 10 years of experience, Chef Jonathan focuses on combining Western techniques with local, seasonal ingredients to give people healthier options.
Chef Gabo | Anarkia Craft Kitchen
A Venezuelan-Spanish chef who cut his teeth at esteemed restaurants such as El Bulli, Arzak and London by Gordon Ramsay in New York City, Chef Gabo also worked in the kitchen at Azul in Shanghai before opening Anarkia Craft Kitchen.
Chef Francois Giussani | CieCAS
Chef Francois Giussani is a Swiss Certified Chef and a graduate from EHL with more than 30 years' experience in Culinary Management. He's worked around the globe and speaks five languages. Chef Francois is HACCP-certified and has worked for many prestigious brands, such as Four Seasons, Swissotel and Sheraton.
Chef Afa Zhang | Pistolera
A skilled culinary professional recognized for his comprehensive knowledge of international cuisine, Chef Afa has more than 10 years experience in the luxury dining market, with a background in cooking the cuisines of Mexico, South America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia.
Chef Raffe | Cantina Agave
Owner and operator of Cantina Agave since the beginning 2008, one of the first Mexican restaurants in Shanghai, Chef Raffe is a Shanghai legend.
Chef Frank Li | Cantina Agave
Chef Frank started with Chef Raffe when they opened Cantina Agave back in 2008, and has been a key part of their longevity.
Chef Brian Thomas | Cantina Agave
Chef Brian Thomas, or BT to those in the know, is Cantina Agave's genius marketing guru who does everything for them, and is also Chef Raffe's best friend. Ahhh...
Date Saturday, June 19
Venue Cages, 3/F 428 Jiangning Lu, by Wuding Lu, Jing’an District
Pre-Sale (Available for purchase May 31-June 18): RMB100
Door (Available for purchase June 19): RMB120
*Tickets include free flow chili samples from all 14 chefs plus a free Budweiser
[Cover image via promoter]