Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
All photos are of REAL food with no props or special effects
The dashing and intrepid Travelling Gourmet goes to the Formula 1 Pit Building to celebrate an event dedicated to gastronomy that is…
MAKING a comeback. It is SAVOUR 2013, arguably sunny Singapore’s largest gourmet festival. From April 11 to 14, the crowds when I was there, showed that Singaporeans and tourists alike appreciate a gourmet gathering where you can taste the delights of top chefs without spending a bomb. You see, the chefs are flown in for you so you do not have to fly to their country, and stay in a hotel, and make a reservation, and go to the restaurant. Top hole, eh what!
I had fun and delighted in tasting my friend’s culinary creations without going to Belgium! Chef Bart de Pooter’s famous restaurant Pastorale‘s signature dishes include succulent Salmon sous vide (under vacuum literal translation) for 10 minutes at 48C. Ai, yo, yo! Juicy, moist, irresistably good! Bart is a very charming fellow and explained, “Good products and nice technique with herbs and spices to boost the flavour is the key!” I agree! Bart continued, “I also love sour plum, shaved with a microplane and put on top for that soury sweetness…”
Slim & fit 1-Michelin Star Chef Jason Atherton is another celebrated Chef who is here at Savour. Joking with the diners & fans Jason quipped, drinking mineral water, “I’m drinking Vodka!” I asked him about the raison d’etre behind his food and molecular gastronomy. His reply was frank & heartwarming, “Molecular gastronomy is not for me. I just cook food I like to eat. If you do it to impress people…there’s no love in it. Just because you want to be the next Ferran Adria…” I agree completely!
His unique ‘je ne sais quoi’ showed in his juicy Slow-cooked Angus Ox Cheek braised in Burgundy with sieved silky smooth, creamy potato puree. It is to parachute deep behind enemy lines in Afghanistan for! I loved too his flavoursome Fresh Crab Meat swirled with zesty Lemon Mayonnaise. Oh, Madonna! I was happy it was NOT Wasabi Mayo which is so very passe! The sweet crab and the smooth as silk emerald green Avocado Puree plus naturally Sweet Corn Mousse went down a treat…with the super-refreshing Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Margarita concocted by Saint Pierre’s bubbly Austrian Chef. “In the nude cooked with turtle dove is the Mae West” is Cockney Rhyming Slang for “Food cooked with love is the best!”
Cheeky Frenchman 2-Michelin Star Chef Claude Bosi of Hibiscus in England kindly let me savour (pun intended Ha! Ha!) his take on Kong Bak Pow.
A Butterfly Bun was filled with Freshwater Eel brunoise! Plus Pork Belly so tender and lovely to bit into and last but definitely not least, Tartufo Nero! Black Tuffle always adds that incredibly head spinning and appetising aroma! “Eat this in two bites”, Claude implored…so I did. It was his mini ice cream cone filled with Castaing Foie Gras (Goose Liver) Ice Cream, No, it is NOT a dessert but a most delicious hors d’oeuvre! Drizzled with Sherry Vinegar Caramel just before serving for that tart acidity…to contrast with the rich liver mousse, this palate pleaser is YUMMY!
My good friend, “Mr. Barilla” aka Mr. Ramu told me, “Barilla is now suporting Savour because it is consumer oriented and retail oriented, whereas World Gourmet Summit is more trade and hotel management oriented. We are getting better returns with Savour…more bang for our buck!”
‘Mr. Barilla’ showed me his new product now flying off the shelves in supermarkets like Cold Storage. Perfect for the home Chef or the busy homemaker or lady executive who wants to impress her paramour over a romantic dinner…It is a 3 in 0ne healthy complete authentic Italian meal of Barilla Farfalle/Bowtie pasta (cook for precisely 10 minutes for ‘al dente’), Calvo TUna in Olive Oil and Barilla Basilico Tomato Sauce and get this…the tomatoes are 100% from sunny Italy! As they say at the famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna of ‘Das Original Sacher Torte’- Only the Original is good enough. BEWARE of fakes! Yes, when it comes to pasta, The Travelling GourmetTM prefer the original Italian and NOT Australian. Barilla is Italy’s largest pasta maker! I also relished his Hungarian Salame! YUMMY!!!
Chef Anthony Demetre has not one, not two BUT three succesful restaurants in London. They are Arbutus in Soho, Wild Honey in Mayfair Les Deux Salos in Covent Garden. “Try my Beef ‘Cottage Pie’…” Anthony implored. It was an offer I could not possibly refuse. Oh! La! La! this eclectic version of the humble ‘Sherpherd’s Pie’ was good…very good. Slow cooked to tender perfection with hot smooth as silk ‘smoked’ potato…a tempting treat for the discerning palate. Anthony’s forte is to transform seasonal & inexpensive food items into yum-yum lip smacking dishes.
Mon ami, mild mannered Chef Emmanuel Stroobant of St. Pierre and I chatted in the VIP Lounge, and I asked him, “Do you throw sharp knives at your Chefs and bonk them over the head with a frying pan when they foul up in the kitchen?”
Emmanuel grimaced painfully…then passionately confided wryly, “I was trained like that…but what’s the point of having a cook crying and sobbing in a corner unable to work? It is better to fix the dish, correct the mistake and serve it at table…and then correct the cook’s mistake and talk to the cook later, n’est pas!” I can only agree. Like me, Chef Emmanuel is a progressive gentleman with great compassion.
Savouring (pun intended) my Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin NV Champagne, I enquired, “What do you think of the horsemeat scandal in Europe?” Emmanuel replied cheekily, “It doesn’t bother me. I’m vegetarian!” Ha! Ha! There is never a dull moment in SAVOUR! Can’t wait till next year’s edition!
Eat, drink and be merry! Life is too short for bad food and mediocre wines!
More power to your elbow! (olde English toast) 🙂