Sunday, May 27, 2012


Every year, at the end of April, World Gourmet Summit is held in Singapore for food enthusiasts. It is a melting pot of world-renowned chefs and gourmands. The sharing of knowledge and the commrardarie is immense, all for the love of food. I had the privilege to attend a few events at the World Gourmet Summit 2012. The summit is an exciting mix of cooking demos, workshops and gala dinners at various local restaurants who collaborate with the visiting chefs. At the two day Gastronomic jam sessions, the chefs shed light on their areas of expertise. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White and chef Ian Curly demonstrated dishes like Chateaubriand and Steak au poivre. It was interesting to note the different techniques used by these chefs to cook the same dish.
Local talent Chef Janice Wong shared her passion for desserts with the audience. She was very excited about fruit purees and demonstrated how she made fruit puree sheets and used them in colourful desserts.
Day 2 at the Gastronomic jam sessions began with a demonstration of an edible landscape by the Singapore Pastry team. The team skillfully demonstrated the techniques to form various shapes and put together a beautiful master piece made out of sugar and chocolate. The butterfly's glass-like wings and curly feelers were almost surreal.
The pastry demonstration was followed by a pleasant surprise for me, in my personal opinion. Indian chef, Vikas Khanna of the restaurant Junoon in New York city demonstrated a recipe for Sandalwood-smoked chicken with green peppercorns and Saffron. It was a very simple dish but the imaginative combination of the ingredients showcased the knowledge and talent of the young chef. I was very impressed by the chef's humbleness and his respect for Indian cuisine.
Next up was Michelin star chef Bruno Menard who took us through a slide show of his innovative dishes. It was interesting to note the Japanese influence in his Neo-French cuisine concept. Nordic cuisine has stormed the world gourmet scene since the inception of Norma as the world's best restaurant, 2 years ago. Following this trend, Chef Ronny Emborg from Denmark was one of the guest chefs at the World Gourmet summit 2012 and he did justice to the hype around Nordic cuisine. He and his Sous Chef demonstrated some spectacular dishes like Burnt Bread, Frozen Halibut, Potato Skin salad and a Malt Log Dessert.
Russian chef Anatoly Komm demonstrated dishes like a crab salad and Sushi-like rolls but made with typical Russian ingredients like beet root, potatoes, and mayonnaise. Chef Komm had a career in the world of Fashion before he became a chef and his culinary skills were rather eccentric and imaginative.
Another interesting segment at the Jam sessions was a cook off between two renowned chefs - chef Michel Sarran and Chef Susur Lee. They were both asked to cook Signature dishes using a theme ingredient - Truffles. Chef Sarran demonstrated a Truffle breakfast with Truffle Cappuccino and Truffle Yogurt while Chef Lee demonstrated Truffle-induced Squid ink and Sesame balls.
The final segment at the Jam sessions was a fun and exciting one by the celebrity Mixologist Javier De Las Muelas of the Dry Martini bar fame. He presented a slide of photos and videos of his bar and the innovative cocktails that the mixologist is famous for. His team demonstrated a drink called the Carnivore which is served in a pitcher plant placed in a martini glass. They also demonstrated a couple of beer-based cocktails.
The jam sessions were an eye-opener and was a truly rewarding experience. Although no written down recipes were shared by the visiting chefs, the sessions were informative and it was exhilarating to see the chefs at work, who showcased their skills and philosophies. This particular blog post is only part of a series of posts that I am going to be writing about the World Gourmet Summit 2012. Look forward to more news about the other events at the Summit.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


As you all know, I do a lot of research before I embark on any trip, especially one that revolves around eating. One of the names that kept popping up while I was researching about restaurants in Singapore was the Iggy's at Hilton Hotel, Orchard Road, Singapore. Iggy's serves European cuisine with a Japanese influence. I was beyond tired when I landed in Singapore since I barely got 2 hours of sleep over the previous night at the airport and airplane. I realised I was staying very close to Iggy's and decided to give it a try for my very first meal in Singapore. Most websites recommend making a reservation at the Iggy's to ensure a table. I also realised if you don't want to splurge on your meals, lunch in restaurants like Iggy's makes a lot of sense. They offer very reasonably priced 4 and 6 course meals for lunch. Meals like these are a steal compared to the dinner prices.
I made a reservation for 1 person and reported on time for my lunch. Its a very formal setting and black is the predominant colour. I was led to a seating area at the back and seated in a corner. I was the first diner at the restaurant. The service is the very attentive and the staff are very knowledgeable and helped me pick the right dishes for different courses. I decided to go for the 4 course meal and made my selections for the various courses.
Before my actual lunch arrived, I was served a Amuse Bouche of Eel mousse with yuzu sauce and caviar, all enveloped in Hickory smoke in a glass dome. The acidity of the yuzu sauce and the creaminess of the mousee along with the smoky flavour made for a very well-rounded dish.
For the first course, I picked a Salad of marinated Salmon with Savoy cabbage and Blood Orange. All the elements of the dish were plated very delicately along with some micro herbs and finally the quick-frozen Blood Orange was sprinkled on top of the salad at the table. It was a very refreshing salad to start the meal with.
For the second course, I had picked Cappellini with tiny shrimps, seaweed and shellfish oil. It was one of the most flavourful pastas I have ever tasted. The tiny shrimps lent crunch to the dish while the seaweed and shellfish brought in subtle and delicate flavours. I liked the idea and flavour of the shell fish oil, I am going to try and make some at home with oil and prawn shells.
For the Main course, I picked Duck Confit with beetroot. I was a tough choice between Venison and Duck and I finally succumbed to the Duck. The Duck Confit was cooked to perfection and it went really well with the beetroot puree that was served along with it. Finally, for dessert, I picked the Spicy Mango. I was so engrossed in my meal that I forgot to click a picture of my dessert. It was a beautiful combination of Kiwi puree, sesame tuille, Meringue, coffee and Mango, all plated up in a very artistic manner. The service at Iggy's was impeccable and the food was even better. Iggy's is definitely on the top of my list of favourite restaurants in Singapore.