Pei Wei Asian Diner, the fast-casual restaurant concept by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, announced the winner of its international blogger competition. After a 10-week national search and more than 500 applicants, Alice Shin, 27, was chosen to travel with executive chef Eric Justice and acclaimed chef Mark Miller on an 18-day culinary tour across Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea in search of inspiration for new Pei Wei dishes.
Chef Justice regularly travels to Asia for culinary exploration, but this marks the first time a Pei Wei fan and blogger will join the journey and share the experience with guests back home.
Shin, a senior copywriter at Miami agency SapientNitro, is an Elite Yelper with a passion for Asian cuisine, exploring restaurants and outdoor activities. “There’s nothing I love more than introducing my friends to the deliciousness and lustfulness of Asian food,” she wrote in her Pei Wei blog entry.
In her new role as the international blogger, Shin will travel to Kyoto, Seoul, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hoi An, Saigon, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, documenting the adventure in daily posts, photos, and videos. As part of the journey, Shin will learn to prepare authentic ramen, sample dishes ranging from live octopus to scorching Thai chilies, experience Chinese-style barbecue, explore local markets, and taste the signature cuisine of every city.
“We were extremely impressed by the quality and quantity of applicants for the international blogger position,” Chef Justice says. “While it was a very difficult decision, we thought Alice’s writing talent, personality, and appreciation of Asian culture made her an ideal fit for the position. We look forward to bringing her onto the Pei Wei team and sharing her experience with our fans back home.”
Throughout the trip, Chef Justice, Chef Miller, and Shin will seek out culinary innovation across the five Asian countries that influence Pei Wei’s menu, searching for flavors to inspire new dishes. In addition to the experience of a lifetime, Shin will also receive $10,000 for her international blogger role.
Pei Wei has extended an offer to all five blog search finalists to play an ongoing role in the launch and development of Pei Wei’s blog throughout 2011.
The Blog Asia trip begins February 24 and ends on March 14.