Around the world in 4 days
Food & hotel asia 2018 returns with a slew of gourmet offerings and hospitality innovations.
FHA 2018 was a roaring success as visitors from around the globe flocked to both Singapore Expo and Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 24 to 28 April. As supporting media of Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade event, epicure was there to suss out the latest F&B trends. To welcome the crowds, our booth was outfitted with Mondecasa furniture, a new Melitta Barista TS coffee machine from Boncafé, and bottles of white tea from ITO EN.
Latvia, famed for its lush natural landscape, made its FHA debut with an impressive display of natural produce such as berry-filled chocolates from Nelleulla and sustainable caviar from Mottra Caviar. The New Zealand pavilion promoted green shell mussels from Marlborough Sounds in ready-to-eat vacuum sealed packs, while the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) pavilion introduced a slew of innovative products and organic produce, like hard apple cider and gluten-free organic oats.
Nibbles and sips
With so much to see over four days, many attendees were seen gathering at the Lavazza booth for their pick-me-up. The Italian coffee brand introduced a new eco-friendly range, ¡Tierra!, where each coffee blend is certified by the NGO Rainforest Alliance. Over at Boncafé, guests sampled an exclusive Ruby blend (using beans from Costa Rica, Uganda and Bali) that was created to commemorate 40 years of FHA.
The crowds also headed to the colourful MONIN booth to try their hand at latte art with the help of the L’artiste Latte Art pen, as well as to sample a variety of syrup flavours.
Trade visitors were treated to a scrumptious feast with the live cooking stations and premium produce at Culina, including Westholme Wagyu and oysters from Royal Oyster.
A glamorous Classic Fine Foods: Origin party was held at The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore on the first evening of FHA, where guests not only sampled fine international produce, such as iberico ham, French caviar, Angus beef, buffalo mozzarella and chocolate, but also met with the producers.
There were competitions aplenty at FHA 2018. Team Malaysia took the coveted top spot at the Asian Pastry Cup, with Singapore and Australia coming in second and third; all three teams earned a place at the prestigious World Pastry Cup 2019 in Lyon. Team Malaysia’s winning creation was a Taiko themed chocolate cake with a crispy streusel base and mandarin yuzu jelly, while the plated Wadaiko dessert consisted of salted almond streusel and banana emas compote.
Amid tough competition, Yusuke Aoki of Indonesia emerged master of chocolate desserts at Asia’s inaugural edition of Valrhona C3 – Chocolate Chef Competition. Aoki will go on to represent the region at the international finale of the Annual Starchefs International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn this October.
Over 7,200 trade visitors made a beeline for Prowine Asia (Singapore), in its second edition. Among the 300 companies from 33 countries, the wines from ‘New Latitude’ areas such as India, Bali and Thailand proved a pleasant surprise, while local mead producer Rachelle the Rabbit gave select guests a work-in-progress sample of their Mao Shan Wang wine. At the French pavilion, the Provence booth served their wines in attractive Ice Bag chillers, making it easy to sample popular Rosés such as Maison Saint Aix Coteaux d’aix-en-provence 2017.
Masterclasses from luminaries such as Tan Ying Hsien MW and Annette Scarfe MW were also fully subscribed. The latter conducted a brief but informative immersion into Austrian wine, as attendees sipped their way through 11 wines. Not all the liquid treasures were at Hall 10; the U.S. pavilion at Hall 7 also threw up some gems, including Colorado based Lee Spirits with their smooth speakeasy-styled single shot gins.
Over at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, cooling specialist Kadeka showcased their wine chillers at FHA for the first time with an eye-catching booth. The handsome display comprised the Kadeka Signature series in sexy black, and Seamless design in sleek stainless steel. It was the ideal opportunity to experience the features of the popular Signature series, which is the first in Singapore to use inverter technology, making it more silent as it is more energy efficient. Magnum collectors will be pleased to know that the wider shelf concept prevents the bottle labels from being scratched, thereby protecting your investments even more carefully. And in line with their impeccable hospitality, Kadeka also served their visitors still or sparkling Tau water in glass bottle as well as bottles of Maison Les Alexandrins Côtes-du-rhône 2015 chilling – at just the perfect serving temperature, of course.