Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
The implacable and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM goes to a casino but not to gamble, at…
MARINA Bay Sands. It was the 2016 Edition of Epicurean Market at MBS. Bigger and bettre and now it outshines the World Gourmet Summit which is slowly being marginalised and is becoming more and more irrelevant to the gastronomic scene in Singapore. Time was when the WGS had a MONOPOLY on bringing top Chefs from around the world to Singapore and offering other innovative dining and wine related experiences. Not any more with Savour and the MBS Epicurean Market, the Beer Fest and more and more creative and innovative gastronomic events…which are also cheaper and more affordable than the super expensive dinners and events at the WGS….Rrecently, I had a meeting with the top people at the Singapore Tourism Board about such matters. I cannot share the details with you, dear readers…Top Secret.
Daniel Boulud is jet lagged???
I went in and was happy to see my friend, Chef Daniel Boulud, just as I entered the hall. His Chef Jonathan Kinsella does such a good job at Bistro Moderne Daniel Boulud in MBS, one of my favourites…I was taken aback by Chef Daniel Boulud’s rather absentminded and what might be misconstrued as unfriendly arrogance, when I talked to him. I told him I had just dined at his Restaurant Daniel in New York about two weeks ago. My charming companion whispered in my ear, “Daniel is normally not so snooty but today…why is he like that??” Maybe Daniel was suffering from jet lag after flying in to Singapore from New York. I am a gentleman slow to take offence but if I were Daniel Boulud, I would not make a habit of giving friends the impression that he is ,,hochnaesig” (high nose in German or arrogant). Daniel persuaded to buy a Bahn Mi for $3. “it has Pate Campagne and ham which we make ourselves.”, Daniel assured me. I tried it and it was fine, but alas nothing outstanding. No spark…Bahn Mi is actually a French Imperialist relic from their time as the Colonial Power in Vietnam. Basically a Bahn Mi is nothing more than a sandwich made with a baguette.
Tetsuya strikes again!
At the Grove Theater, it was standing room only for Tetsuya Wakuda’s Masterclass. If there is one word that you can NEVER ever apply to Tetsuya, a man I am very honoured to call my good friend, it is “arrogance”. As humble and modest as he is skilful in terms of culinary expertise, I consider Tetsuya a Culinary Genius. There was a long, long queue to go in for the Masterclass. There was an Indian lady who was one of the organisers at the entrance to the venue. As I waited patiently in the queue, I observed her dealing with her colleagues and others…and soon came to the conclusion that she was “clueless”. It is very unfortunate but there are many people like that who appear to know what they are doing, but really do not. My theory was confirmed as I was going in. She asked me, “Do you have a reservation?” I said “No.” and asked her politely, “…but I would like a reservation please.” Her asinine and curt reply was, “No reservations, you have to queue!”
The mind boggles?????? How bloody stoopid is that! Catch 22. Tetsuya’s very enlightening Masterclass made up for the clueless Indian lady’s mind boggling antics. Tetsuya shows his skill in a very cool and calm manner. THAT is the hallmark of a professional who knows exactly what he is doing. Comrades who are in Special Forces are exactly the same. In a firefight deep behind enemy lines, they are cool and get the job done without shouting, panicking, or cursing in vulgar words like mountebank gordon ramsay whom I dislike. Tetsuya demonstrated his expertise and his philosophy which i really like…serving the finest ingredients with just the barest minimum of salt, pepper, Soy and Mirin and other herbs as necessary…to ENHANCE but not overpower the flavours of the product. The precise way he sprinkles just a soupcon of salt and drizzles just a tiny bit of extra virgn olive oil from a gold foiled bottle is awesome. As my good pal, Ken Hui in Hong Kong always says…”Seeing is Believing!” No molecular here. No reverse spherification, no mango gelee masquerading as egg yolk, no Espuma…none of that. Just jolly good food and super-yummie flavours!
To be continued…
More to follow,,,