Tag Archives: Chef

‘Cooking with Friends’ @ Osia with Bocuse d’Or winner Chef Geir Skeie

If you think that the RWS Celebrity Chefs Dinner is all they’ve got, you’re wrong!

For the month of October, winner of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in 2009, and owner of the famous Brygga 11 restaurant in Norway, Chef Geir Skeie will head to Singapore from 9 to 12 October for the fourth series of ‘Cooking with Friends’ at Osia.

A young legend in Europe for his take on Nordic cuisine, Skeie began his love for food when he was eight years old, after being inspired by Norwegian chef Bent Stiansen on TV.  It was at that point when he knew he wanted to be amongst the best chefs in the world, and eventually ended up as the winner of the Bocuse d’Or.

A perfectionist by nature, Skeie spent the majority of his career working with champion chefs -those that participated in famous competitions, and made their mark on a global level.  His curiosity for food and taste was a key driver pushing him to achieve success.

In line with Osia’s culinary philosophy, expect some of Chef Skeie’s signature dishes such as the dill and lemon flavoured Norwegian ocean trout paired with smoked egg cream and pickled vegetables, fennel and garlic grilled Australian lamb leg and belly as well as a baked Norwegian turbot.

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The Drinking Market is honoured to be invited for this event on the 9th of Oct 2013, make your reservations and meet us there!

Event Date: 9 – 12 Oct 2013

Price:
3-course set lunch $50++ (usual price $60++)
4-course set lunch $65++ (usual price $75++)

Venue: Osia

Reservations: Call 6577 6688 or email dining@rwsentosa.com

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An Evening of Fine Food @ RWS

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I’ve written about it and now i’m there to experience the first hand experience of  the RWS Celebrity Chef’s Cuisine!

To read me previous post about the Inaugural RWS Food Affair, click HERE

Last Wednesday, a group of Bloggers, Freelance Writers and celebrated Food Authors were invited to the Resort World Sentosa to experience dining at its finest in the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium.

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We were greeted with Champagnes, juices and soft drinks while we chatted with the six Celebrity Chefs who made this event possible! Read about Chef Cora’s inspiration for cooking, Chef Leong’s thoughts on the Chinese Culinary scene and Chef Joel Robuchon’s ideas on whether to open another restaurant in Singapore!

My first interview was with Chef Sam Leong, Chef Consultant and Co-owner of Forest Cooking School. Interestingly, Chef Sam Leong has a personality of his own, that not only impresses me, but a lot of other writers per-se. During our interview, Chef Leong cannot stop, but emphasise enough of his wife that is his pillar of strength throughout his career as a Chef.

A celebrated Chef, Chef Leong also realised the lack of talents in today’s culinary scene. He mentioned that  “the younger generations are afraid of hardship, many do not have the perseverance to stay in the kitchen for long.” in fact, he briefly mentioned that being a Chef is not easy, it is not what you see on the television, but years and years of hardwork and determination.

Chef Leong also left with a quote for aspiring young Chefs’ “If you’re keen to join the kitchen, make sure you are committed to it, persevere and endure. However, once you reach he age of 25 and think that the kitchen is not for you, quit. Do not waste your time anymore.”

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Chef Cat Cora, the newest addition to the list of Celebrity Chefs at RWS was also present during our short interview and i managed to “squeeze” some questions for her!

Qn: Chef Cora, being the newest addition to the team of Celebrity Chefs at the RWS, do you feel pressured?

Ans: No, i do not. it’s just like being in the Iron Chefs Competition, it is always challenging and it forces me to really innovate and create dishes that are not only delicious, but presentable. In fact, it is my honour to be working side by side all the celebrity chefs in RWS tonight.

Qn: Chef Cora, i heard that you’ve got a Vegetarian Menu, which is your favourite dish?

Ans: ALL! Haha! Isn’t that what all Chefs would say? Joking. i personally really like the Cauliflower Puree with Basil Seeds and the Roasted Egg Plant Soup with Curry and Cotton Candy.

Qn: I see that you really enjoy using Asian Ingredients into your cuisine, so what do you love about Singaporean Food?

Ans: First and foremost, i really love Singapore! Not only does it have a whole diversity of races, for a Chef, it also meant a whole diversity of dishes! A typical morning for me in Singapore would be at a local coffeeshop or offer house with my half-boiled eggs and kaya Toast!

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Not forgetting, TDM never forgets to have an Interview with Chef Joel Robuchon!

Qn: Chef, were do you find inspirations for your cuisines?

Ans: I treat culinary as an art, in all my dishes, i look at it from an artistic point of view. Like a Painting, there must be a balance. Mixing elements to do with taste first. Most importantly, using only the best products,we try our very best to work with local produce, but if it is not available locally, we source it from other parts of the World.

Qn: There a are a lot of Culinary schools that have opened in Singapore, what are your thoughts on them?

Ans: It is great! Reputable Culinary Schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, Temasek Culinary Academy and At-Sunrise are examples of such schools that lays a basic fundamentals to cooking. It is a very good way to start your career as a Chef and a great stepping stone to the industry. Most importantly, it doesn’t only teach you how to cook, but also manage a restaurant in a whole.

Qn: Chef, are there any plans for you to open another restaurant in Singapore?

Ans: Currently, no. There have been many investors and Hotels proposing to collaborate with me, but currently, i realise that there are too many restaurants in Singapore which are really good. Furthermore, i personally i feel that it is not right to open another restaurant in other hotels, especially with my current two at the RWS.

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What an impressive start! Let’s see what we were greeted with the moment we stepped into the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium for dinner!

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Here comes the FOOD!! – All by the sequence of their courses, not forgetting the amazing wines that was sponsored by Bacardi – Martini Singapore Ptd Ltd

Wines served for the Evening:

  • Penfolds Koonuga Hill Autumn Riesling
  • Penfolds 2 Shiraz Mourverdre
  1. Le Caviar Imperial – by Chef Joel Robuchon
  2. Steamed Marble Goby – by Chef Sam Leong
  3. Double-Boiled Cordyceps Flower – by Chef Li Kwok Kwong
  4. Slow Cooked Salmon Roulade, Hokkaido Scallop & Fried Octopus – by Chef Cat Cora
  5. Beef Short Rib – by Chef Douglas Tay
  6. Sweet Temptation – by Chef Kenny Kong

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EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

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Meanwhile, for more information on the promotions which ends today, do not hesitate to join in the RWS Food Affair by clicking in the link HERE

 

BURNOUT – A Tribute to the Food & Beverage Industry

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BURNOUT – physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. (Google)

TDMers, i know that i’m suppose to be blogging about Oushin Japanese Steakhouse, but prior to that, on a more serious note, i’ve got some thoughts that i want to pen down on this blog entry and i sincerely wish that you can share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.

Last Friday, as i sat on the comfortable chairs with food on my table, many thoughts and memories came through my mind. I thought that it’ll be nice for me to share with you some of my thoughts and i hope that you’ll learn to appreciate and thank the people who are serving your breakfast, lunch or dinner in a restaurant or cafe.

Let me start off by saying…

Singapore’s Service Standards are like SHIT!

No, that’s actually not what i’m trying to bring across, but have you been one of the culprits who said such things before? Or perhaps you might have heard many of your friends and family judging our service standards in Singapore.

Before we jump into any conclusion, allow me to share my personal experience when i started as a junior employee with a restaurant group.

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A typical day working in a restaurant starts at 10am for me, the moment i step into the restaurant, i would have to start doing the daily administrative work, clearing the cellar, setting-up the restaurant and making sure that everything is ready for operations. At about 11am, we would normally start the day with a row call, which the chef would then explain the specials for the day or if there’s anything that is not available.

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11.30am, the restaurant opens for operations, as usual, we would be serving the hungry diners who are rushing in-between work or meeting to catch a quick bite, in fact, the lunch operations is always a challenge as many would require us to serve fast, be quick and hopefully, turnover the table for the next seating.

2.30pm, the last order for lunch, but that’s not it. Diners who are normally a little more free would prefer to stay a while longer to have their tea or desserts slowly, thus, we would be standing-by, waiting, waiting and waiting.

4pm, we finally cleared the restaurant, and that’s almost 6 hours since i started work. This is when i probably would have my 1st meal of the day.

5.30pm, all geared up, dressed in our uniforms, we are back to set-up the restaurant for the dinner service. 6pm, our second row call for the day, and the chef would now explain the items available for dinner as well as the specials for the evening.

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6.30pm, our doors are open again for dinner, this goes all the way till 10pm- 10.30pm, depending on the chef or maitre’d who determines the time for our last order. Once the last order is made for normally desserts, coffee or tea, diners would normally stay a little longer while they sip their tea and chat with their partners or friends. A typical day ends (weekdays) at 11pm or (weekends) 12am – 1am. As usual, we’re not done yet, after all our guest have left the restaurant, it’s time to clear all the plates and wipe the wine glasses so that there will not be water marks. Next up, something that most service staff hates, wiping cutleries… all in all, these takes about an hour or so, depending on the night’s service. Having said that, most of the time when we are back home, it’ll probably be past midnight, or if you might agree with me, the wee hours…

This is not all, with the clamping down on foreign workers and the lack of Singaporeans who are unwilling to go into the service industry, we are facing lesser and lesser manpower counts. This meant that:

  1. Service quality would be affected
  2. It’ll take longer hours to complete the same task
  3. Lesser people doing more job scope

Conclusion? BURNOUT!

We spend up to 14 hours a day working in a restaurant with minimal rest, more often then not, we spend most of our time at work than to be at home. That’s not all, because of the manpower shortage, many restaurant chains are forced to have their employees to be on a six-day work week.

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I challenge any one of you to try being in their shoes. Take a week and try your hands working in a restaurant, then figure out if it’s an easy job.

So, what i’m driving at is for you to try and appreciate these people who are serving you. Many of them like myself started-off with passion, our priority is always to just do our best and provide you with the best service, at no time are we there to make your experience bad. In fact, despite the lack of time to rest, we always try to put a smile on our faces to make our guest feel welcomed and comfortable.

Like yourself, the service staff are just working hard to make ends meet for their families. We are all mature enough and i trust my readers are as well, let’s not complain so much and learn to be more patient and kind with our words. The next time you visit a restaurant or cafe, learn to recognise the employees, fill up the feedback form, be generous with your words, say thank you, these means a lot to them:)

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Have a lovely Sunday:)

5th Edition Guest Chef @ Platters Bistro & Wine Bar

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East meets West. A statement often misused and misunderstood. What exactly is fusion, somehow or rather, fusion food became quite an over-hyped word often used by amateur Chefs who tries hard to combine both cuisine styles into one.

Located in a heritage shophouse, Platters accentuates an European bistro with its brick-walls and raw wood furnishing, you’ll be amazed by the quality of food that comes out of the culinary kitchen where renown Chefs have laid their hands on.

Every 4 months, guest chefs, often locally bred talents are invited to Platters to design 6 different platters that portrays their culinary styles and encourage social dining. Having said that, for the month of July till October 2013, they are celebrating their 5th edition by having chef Karl Dobler and Chef Eugenia’s creation on their menu!

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Chef’s Eugenia Creation of having simple and mouth-watering Indonesian-inspired cuisine with Chef Karl’s idea of a more European approach, we were presented with a platter of crispy fluffy tahu telur, tomato bocconcini tartlets and mushroom croquettes. Colours, flavours and presentation, the points were all ticked for the concept of making your palate work right on the first dish!

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The oceanic ensemble

The word “oceanic” would have already given you a clue on what the dish has to offer. Texture is perhaps the whole concept of this dish, soft and juicy mussels with tomatoes and white wine sauce, crunchy shrimps that were grilled with a layer of sambal and lastly, the crispy soft shell crab that matched with the slightly spicy and acidic achar to cut through the proteins. Wonderful!

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Asia’s ultimate star burgers

Placed in-between in their home-made burger buns that was prepared in-house, the two flavours includes Rendang and the latter, Chicken Satay, completing the dish was a side of curry-kaffir lime spiced shoestring fries. This was a combo! The rendang was juicy and tender while the chicken satay had a smoky aroma, I was blown away by how simple, yet flavourful the two burgers are.

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Life is sweet, truly

Indeed, life is sweet! Chef Eugenia’s approach of having a twist with the jackfruit, she prepared the jackfruit beignet with coconut custard alongside Chef Karl’s citrus panna cotta with fresh berries. The two was a perfect match! The jackfruit beignet, a rich dessert that is deep-fried was so well complemented by the acidity apparent in the citrus panna cotta that made the whole dessert balanced. Not forgetting, Chef Karl believes that no meal should end without chocolates, of course, we also had the mini valrhona chocolate tart to make a sweet ending.

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Chef Karl, a seasoned culinary guru, also the starter for the Salut Group of Restaurants alongside Chef Eugenia who’s culinary talents are highly regarded by 3 Michelin-star chef Marco Pierre White, the culinary duo also started their own restaurant, Table At 7 in Mohamed Sultan.

The menu will be available at Platters exclusively from July till October 2013, so if you’ve not tried their platters, see you at PLATTERS!

Platters Bistro & Wine Bar

Add: 42 Club Street

Tel: 6223 8048

E-mail: contact_us@platters.com.sg

Web: www.platters.com.sg

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*Compliments to Jenny and Jean from FOODCULT PTE LTD who arranged for this tasting, and of course the team at Platters Bistro & Wine Bar for putting-up such a wonderful meal!

Celebrate the love of food at the inaugural RWS Food Affair this September

For the first time ever, six of RWS’s celebrity chefs have come together to create a six-course dinner in a magnificent setting at the S.E.A. Aquarium’s Open Ocean habitat, home to more than 50,000 marine animals. 

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The Month of September seems to be the month for Foodies! In my previous post, i wrote about the Marina Bay Sands Hosting the Inaugural Sands for Singapore Festival in September and concurrently, the Resort World Sentosa is also back for some pumping actions in the kitchen!

*to view my entry on the Sands for Singapore Festival, click HERE

The six chefs, from the world’s most Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon to the first female Iron Chef of Iron Chef America fame Cat Cora, have each designed a course for this dinner.  From fine French haute-cuisine to authentic Cantonese soup, diners can feast on the best that RWS has to offer at one seating. In a unique setting like no other, diners will also be enthralled by the magnificent view of manta rays, leopard sharks and goliath groupers before them in the Open Ocean habitat.

Begin the exquisite dinner with Le Caviar Imperial by Joël Robuchon, followed by Steamed Marble Goby with Forest Mushroom sauce by Sam Leong, a nourishing soup of Double Boiled Cordyceps Flower with quail and conch meat by Chef Li Kwok Kwong, Salmon Roulade accompanied with sweet Hokkaido Scallop & Fried Octopus by Cat Cora, Beef Short Rib by Douglas Tay, and a sweet temptation of yuzu mango cremeux by Executive pastry chef Kenny Kong.

OH MY GOODNESS!! HOW CAN YOU MISS THIS!

RWS Celebrity Chefs Dinner

18 September, Wednesday @ the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium

Six-course dinner at $288++ per person (includes free flow Ayala Brut Majeur NV champagne for pre dinner cocktails and freeflow Penfolds Bin 2 Shariaz Mouverdre and Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling for dinner)

Joël Robuchon Restaurant & L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

From 14th to 22nd September, step into Joël Robuchon’s world and taste the best of French haute-cuisine. During this period, diners may also have the opportunity to meet the legendary chef as he makes his rounds at the restaurants.

Joël Robuchon Restaurant will introduce a ten-course Menu Degustation during the RWS Food Affair boasting exquisite dishes such as ‘Le Homard’ – roasted Lobster in black pepper ‘Malabar’ sauce – and ‘Le Bouef’ – Beef fillet in Rossini interpretation with Vintage Taylors Port and bitter salad sprouts.

At L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, a new six-course Menu Decouverte showcasing dishes such as  ‘Le Crabe’ – seasonal crab meat on thin layers of turnip dressed with sweet and sour vinaigrette;  ‘Le Bar’ – Seared Sea Bass with braised Fennel ‘Provencal’ style; and ‘Le Sensation’ – a pretty and delicate dessert of creamy araguani chocolate with Cocoa Sorbet and Oreo cookie.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora – At Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, a five-course set dinner will feature Iron Chef Cat Cora’s signature Mediterranean-Californian dishes such as Salmon, Scallop & Lobster accompanied with Cauliflower Puree; Sautéed Garden Peas & Shellfish Emulsion and Kurobuta Pork Belly and Fried Octopus with Sauerkraut Puree, Cabbage Roll and Spicy Mustard sauce.   During this period, diners may also catch a glimpse of the friendly chef who has starred in TV shows like Around the World in 80 Plates and The Next Iron Chef.

Osia – Helmed by Celebrity Chef Scott Webster and Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay, Osia showcases contemporary western dishes characterized by the natural flavours and essence extracted from premium ingredients. For RWS Food Affair, award winning Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay has set out to create a delectable menu with inspirations from Western Australia combined with Asian influences using fresh Australian produce.  For mains, choose to indulge in grilled sea perch with Sesame Ratte Potatoes or Tasmanian Milk Fed Lamb Short Loin and Rib with Swede Carrot Puree. Along with Chef Douglas’s keen emphasis on precision and meticulous cooking techniques, expect no less than a spectacular feast for both the eyes and palates.

Feng Shui Inn – The Man Han Quan Xi (满汉全席) was an imperial feast served only to emperors during the Qing Dynasty, with more than a hundred delicacies served over three days.   Dine like a king at the RWS Food Affair, as Chinese Head Chef Li Kwok Kwong and his team of chefs have taken inspiration from this imperial feast and recreated traditional dishes with a modern twist.  The six-course dinner menu will feature delicacies such as Double-Boiled “Changbai” Mountain Wild Ginseng with Farm Chicken and Braised Kurobuta Meat with Alaska Crab Claw.

Forest森 – Forest森 redefines the art of Chinese fine dining, with a western approach to the presentation of its dishes.  Local celebrity chef Sam Leong has created a six-course dinner featuring his signature innovative contemporary Chinese dishes such as Hot and Sour Seafood Broth with Hokkaido Sea-Urchin; slow-cooked Wagyu Beef Cheek with Spiced Cumin and Steamed New Zealand Cod with Yuzu Mushroom Sauce.  Sam Leong will also hold a special masterclass that comes with a four-course lunch.

Tangerine – At Tangerine, the spa café located at ESPA at RWS, husband-wife duo Sam and Forest Leong have combined efforts to create dishes using nutritious ingredients and healthy cooking methods without compromising on flavor.

For the RWS Food Affair, Tangerine will feature a lunch and dinner set featuring dishes like the fresh and healthy appetizer of Crisp Summer Green & Cress Salad dressed with Extra Virgin Coconut Vinaigrette, and Chef Forest’s Sous-Vide Salmon accompanied with Olive Dust and Confit Tomato and Green Pea Mash.

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

Celebration of Food and Drinks 2013

One of Singapore’s LARGEST gourmet food and drink festival Savour 2013 is back for the 2nd time in Singapore! With a new line-up of Chefs and Celebrity Restaurants all in one “Village”, this will definitely be a phenomenal experience for all the foodies out there to get your hands down and dirty!

BRAND NEW REASONS TO ATTEND SAVOUR 2013

With a myriad of experiences to enjoy in three exclusive areas – Gourmet Village, Gourmet Market and Gourmet Auditorium – there are hundreds of reasons to visit SAVOUR 2013. Here are some of the highlights on what’s new at Savour 2013…

1. Celebrate the all-new Gourmet Village

Singapore’s biggest gourmet festival packs a mighty punch, all in one 32,000sqm purpose-built location. The Gourmet Village in 2013 not only features the finest in food and drink, but an all-weather experience under additional shelter, including a brand new air-cooled dining pavilion.

2. Celebrate the Stars

Get up-close and personal with over 30 award-winning international chefs from here and around the world as they cook off against each other at the Gourmet Village. With over 12 Michelin stars across 18 top restaurants, find yourself served by some of the best chefs in the world.

3. Celebrate global cuisine at first class prices

Go on a tasting trail and sample over 60 award-winning dishes at the Gourmet Village – Savour 2013 dishes are now priced lower, from S$6 to S$18. Feel free to create your own unique culinary journey – why not start with a molecular-fusion appetizer from Hong Kong, move on to a main course from South Africa, and finish off with a delicate Peruvian dessert

4. Celebrate Savour at its great location

Savour a great dish, grab a drink and enjoy culinary workshops with friends and family right in the heart of the city. Spend a day – or three! – at Savour, soaking up the exciting atmosphere, or simply come for a fun, friendly day out.

5. Celebrate being inspired

Learn tricks of the trade from the very best in the culinary world. Attend FREE chef master classes and cooking demonstrations in the comforts of the 300-seater indoor Gourmet Auditorium. With up to 50% increase in classes from the previous edition, Savour 2013 will give everyone the opportunity to immerse in an inspiring behind-the-scenes experience with their favourite chef.

6. Celebrate Market flavours

Visit the Gourmet Market and shop for top quality ingredients and produce sourced from around the world. Connect with an entire ecosystem of quality brands, food and wine producers, and attend live workshops, demonstrations and FREE sampling sessions – with over 300 different activities to attend, for that complete sensory experience.

7. Celebrate new discoveries with Savour Itineraries

Not sure what to experience first? Solve your culinary conundrum by picking up one of the many Savour Itineraries customised to specific themes. Follow your nose on a fascinating tour of the World of Wines, satisfy your sweet tooth by taking on the Savour Pastry Journey or delve into the the origins of exotic coffee on the Savour Coffee Trail. The only problem you will have will be choosing between them all!

8. Celebrate great value, with a time extension

The SAVOUR Gourmet Market, a 2-storey space was our FAVOURITE! Not only because of the ever-cooling air-con from the scotching heat in Singapore, but also the massive array of of food and drink exhibitors plus hundreds of complementary workshops, tastings and produce demonstrations conducted by renowned Chefs and brands!

Do not miss this opportunity to join SAVOUR 2013 this weekend!

For more information, please click HERE

Meanwhile, have fun munching and drinking!!!

Signing off from a SUPER SUN_BURNT writer!