The Power of Tea

kendall college chefs

Celebrating an evening of Napoleona Tea with Chef Instructor Austin Yancey of Kendall College along with culinary student, Dustin who created the winning dish

There is an emerging trend in the culinary world guaranteed to open up a whole new world of flavor possibilities. Chefs all across the country are starting to use tea in both sweet and savory dishes as a new and interesting way to add flavor to their dishes.


I recently caught up with Chef Instructor Austin Yancey of Kendall College to talk about the use of tea in cooking. He said tea, which is basically dried leaves, can be used in much the same way chefs use herbs and spices to add flavor to their dishes. The challenge, though, is matching the right tea with the right dish. Anyone using tea in a dish must understand the nuances of what temperatures get the maximum flavors from each tea. Getting the temperatures right and matching tea with the right ingredients is essential to having a successful tea inspired dish.


Kendall College recently held the first ever Napoleona Tea challenge hosted by Chicago Gourmets at the College. The contestants had to prepare a four-course dinner featuring tea in every dish. I tasted some of the dishes from the finalists and was amazed at the flavor the tea brought to each dish. I certainly hope Kendall College makes this challenge an annual event.


Using tea can be as simple as marinating meat for grilling with tea. So if you are looking for something new and different to add flavor to your old recipes, consider adding tea as an ingredient to your dish. Make sure to do your homework first but adding tea to your dishes can be a source of new and wonderful flavor possibilities.


To hear my Kitchen Chat with Austin Yancey, log onto and as always, Savor the day!


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