Chef Thu Rein Oo reigns victorious at Taste of St. Louis Chef Battle Royale
The Crossing executive chef Thu Rein Oo has once again won the Chef Battle Royale at Taste of St. Louis on Sunday, Sept. 15 in downtown St. Louis. This is Rein’s second consecutive win at the annual culinary competition.
“I’m so happy and can’t believe I won again,” Oo said. “I feel so lucky, you know, to win two years in a row.”
Oo competed against seven other area chefs: Cassie Vires of Winslow’s Home & Farm, Matt Birkenmeier of Hotel Saint Louis, Jason Sparks of Layla, Matt DeBois of The Scottish Arms, Matthew Dawson of Café Coeur and Cork Wine Bar’s Austin Hamblin.
Throughout the weekend, the eight chefs competed in a series of head-to-head battles where they had to compose a dish featuring ingredients like cheese, plant-based meats and veal, as well as last-minute secret ingredients additions like whiskey and Red Hot Riplets.
Oo and Hamblin faced off in the final round, Battle Seafood and Reisch Gold Top Beer. For his winning dish, Oo utilized hogfish, a snapper-like fish that he prepared with ginger and garlic, among many other ingredients.
Oo said he may not compete in the battle next year since he’s won twice – but he still hopes to be involved in the competition. “I can retire [from the Battle Royale] now, so I may become a judge next year,” he said.
Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of Taste of St. Louis.
Lauren Healey is associate editor at Sauce Magazine.
More stories like this
Defiance Ridge Vineyards offers a perfect escape from the city
Get out of town and spend some time at one of the newest wineries in the ...
8 restaurants battle to win the Great Grilled Cheese Off Oct. 19
St. Louis' second annual Great Grilled Cheese Off takes place from noon to 6 p.m. on ...