from Alkaff Mansion at no. 10 Telok Blangah Green, SINGAPORE
Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GOurmetTM
All rights reserved
The intrepid & resourceful Travelling GourmetTM learns a lot at MLA’s Youth Chef’s Day far from the madding crowd where…
“MORE than just Beans” presented by Klevin Ngow of Coffex Coffee told the audience all you needed to know about premium speciality coffee but were afraid to ask… Candidly, ernest Kelvin explained to me when I asked after his talk, “Kopi Luwak is more of a marketing thing, I am a Q-Grader and Kopi Luwak is not under the category of Speciality Coffee. It’s more of a gimmick. If you go to a restaurant and see a hair in your food, you make a BIG fuss! But no one has got food poisoning from a hair in your food! Here you are consuming something that has passed through the inside of an animal…Kelvin grimaced with horror and continued, “There’s also cruelty to the animal…” In this case the beast in question is the Civet Cat, which was implicated in the deadly SARS outbreak some years ago. On a more positive note, I personally found the Ethiopian coffee blend award winner to be very smooth and mellow with hardly a trace of bitterness. This, of course, is because the beans were not over-roasted. For a simple analogy, premium USDA or MLA Wagyu beef MUST NOT be served well done! Enjoy!
“Evolution of the Patissier’s Role in the Kitchen” presented by Paco and Jacob Torreblanca from Spain & ably moderated by David Senia, the Executive Chef of Capella Hotel Singapore, was a fascinating discourse all about cakes and pastry! To answer my question about the health conscious consumer, Paco elaborated in Spanish that, “…we use now less sugar and maltitol for those who are health conscious, or have a medical reason to take less suger in their pastries…but they love pastries!” Maltitol and Stevia, extracted from the Cactus plant, are sugar substitutes that also good for those who watch their weight.
I loved Chef Janice Wong’s presentation together with Daniel Sia. “The Essence of Art in Cuisine gave the audience of many young Chefs still in training the importance of the EYE in cuisine. I’ll never forget the time a British Army Chef (RACC) taught me that the 1st thing you taste food with…is your EYE. Daniel made me chuckle when he said wryly & vehemently, “I had to turn when I was training, had to turn carrots into…to look like olives! Carrots should look like carrots and olives should look like olives!”
QUOTE of the Day fr0m pretty & passionate MGS old girl Chef Janice Wong of 2:am Dessert Lab: At Room for Dessert in New York, I told the boss, “I want to be a sponge and learn as much as I can!” It was her first internship as a Chef.
It reminded me of my favourite quote form Socrates, the ancient Greek Philosopher who said: The only true wisdom is when you realize you know nothing” or in German: Ich weiss dass ich weiss nicht. Those who subscribe to this philosophy will always be humble and NEVER arrogant.
My dear friend, Peter Knipp was on hand to make sure everything was ‘strac’ as they say in the USSF. Yes, the World Gourmet Summit has come along way from a little baby to a teenager, now in its 17th Edition.
The Artisan’s Mastery of Fromagerie was all about CHEESE! Very nicely and humourously presented by unpretentious Executive Chef David Senia. Cheese is an essential part of EVERY gourmet meal in France and in UK too except the French eat the cheese BEFORE dessert and the English do it the other way round. That’s probably why that malignant power-mad dwarf Napoleon Bonaparte who was really Italian being a Corsican, fought many wars with Great Britain in the past…
Senior and very skilful Chef Edmund Toh, Assistant Vice President of Resorts World Sentosa and the President of Singapore Chefs’ Association is a very nice gentleman without any airs and graces, whom I am honoured to have as a good friend. His presentation on “Being a Chef as a Profession” explained the real world of Chefs behind the glamourous facade shown on TV and in the movies. He also showcased some original recipes of chicken fillet pounded like Wiener Schnitzel, then wrapped around a ball of chicken rice, covered in cling film like a bon-bon and boiled. Edmund, who has cooked for President Bush of the USA, and his son President George W. Bush emphasized in no uncertain terms that a Chef must be: pro-active, positive, determined and have a NEVER say NO attitude! I fully agree! The honourable profession of a Chef is not for weak, wimpy, lily-livered people who want to work 9am to 5pm only. Inspiring and no holds barred, this is the truth that shows why only those who love being a Chef can last, persevere and succeed! Bravo Edmund!
Cocktails and more food like Ragout de Boeuf brought the day to a very Merry and satisfying finale…I really like the mellow “drink & drive” Beer, namely Krombacher since 1803. It is alcohol free! Ha! Ha!
Live every moment as if it is your last! Life is too short for bad food and mediocre wines!
Guten Appetit und zum Wohl! This is Dr. MichaeL Lim The Travelling GourmetTM LIVE from Alkaff Mansion in the Republic of Singapore! 🙂