State of culi­nary discovery

We came, we ate, we drank. The epi­cure team shares the highlights of this year’s World Gourmet Sum­mit.

Epicure - - SEEN AND SAVOURED -

This year’s World Gourmet Sum­mit (WGS) wel­comed al­most 16,000 peo­ple who at­tended no less than 50 sig­na­ture WGS events from 2 to 29 April. Guests were treated to a suc­ces­sion of master­classes, lun­cheons and din­ners by top toques and young culi­nary stars from Asia, East­ern and Cen­tral Europe, and Amer­ica. As me­dia part­ner of WGS, epi­cure’s se­nior pub­lisher and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ce­cilia Goh pre­sented the Pas­try Chef of the Year (Regional) award to Flo­rian Guille­menot of Kuala Lumpur’s Le Cor­don Bleu Col­lege of Culi­nary Arts dur­ing the Awards of Ex­cel­lence held at One Far­rer Ho­tel & Spa.

Up-and-com­ing Ukrainian chef, Yaroslav Ar­tuykh, shared the culi­nary traits of ryazhenka, a tra­di­tional fer­mented milk that was used in his Baked Colostrum Sponge Cake, while Ir­ish na­tive Kevin Thornton served his prized 3,000-year-old bog but­ter. Con­clud­ing the show­case at CHIJMES Hall was Alba Avilés, Mex­ico’s tequila am­bas­sador, who shared sam­plings of Tequila Ta­p­atío Añejo.

Ta­marind Hill in Labrador Na­ture Re­serve’s played host to the WGS Discovery Brunch, which of­fered scrump­tious bites with global in­flu­ences from lo­cal chefs such as Man­ju­nath Mu­ral of The Song of In­dia and Nicky Ng of Mitzo Restau­rant & Bar.

Ross Lusted, Aus­tralia’s two-hat­ted chef and chef-owner of The Bridge Room, one of Syd­ney’s top restau­rants, helmed a mas­ter­class and lun­cheon at Miele dur­ing which he in­tro­duced a menu crafted from his in­ter­na­tional trav­els. The four-course af­fair starred Thai­in­spired Mud Crab with pork caramel, Maine Lob­ster with palm hearts and pomelo, along with a spiced Master Stock Pi­geon with sweet date pa­per and harissa from Morocco, be­fore end­ing with an Asian-in­spired Whipped Black Sesame with puffed rice. Chef James Won, the tour de force of Malaysia’s restau­rant scene, wowed palates at the Miele show­room with his din­ner de­gus­ta­tion menu. The cre­ator of French restau­rant, En­fin By James Won, pre­sented de­light­ful en­trées like Kaluga Queen Ose­tra Caviar, Or­ganic Egg Whites, Chives with Rye Bread Crust and show­stop­ping main cour­ses such as Lob­ster Tail, Crab, Burnt Co­conut Risotto, Truffle Egg Nest, Pars­ley, Flow­ers.

A Four Hands col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween NAMI’S head chef Shi­geo Ak­iba and two Miche­lin-starred Tak­agi’s chef-owner, Tak­agi Kazuo, put the spotlight on Ky­oto dishes such as bam­boo shoot cooked in maguro dashi and Ja­panese pep­per leaf. Si­cil­ian flavours were high­lighted as chef Lino Sauro of Gat­topardo Ris­torante di Mare and chef Pa­trizia di Benedetto of one Miche­lin-starred Bye Bye Blues cre­ated a spe­cial menu. What stood out were the mor­eish home­made squid ink pasta ‘Ca­vatelli’ by Bye Bye Blues (which came with an

ad­dic­tive sea urchin mousse and seafood sauce), and ‘Polipo’ (a juicy cit­rus charred oc­to­pus with spicy roasted cap­sicum) by Gat­topardo Ris­torante di Mare.

Prov­ing there’s more to Hun­gar­ian cui­sine than goulash, chef Péter Sz­abó of Bu­dapest's highly ac­claimed La Par­illa whipped up con­tem­po­rary Hun­gar­ian dishes like Jel­lied Arc­tic Char and Beef Cheek a la Csaky “New Style” as part of his guest stint at La Brasserie at The Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel Singapore.

Chef Akira Back of his name­sake restau­rant in JW Mar­riott Ho­tel Singapore South Beach pre­sented the best dishes from DOSA, his one Miche­lin-starred restau­rant in Seoul, in­clud­ing pan-seared Hal­ibut served with tangy wakame salsa and yuzu essence. Guest chef Ryu Tae Hwan from Korea’s Ryu­nique lived up to his fame with a vir­tu­oso per­for­mance with Morsel’s chef Pet­rina Loh. Loh pre­sented in­spir­ing dishes such as the hum­ble kohlrabi in three ways: con­fit, freshly shaved, and fer­mented. Ryu’s silkie fowl gin­seng was served two ways, as a gin­seng soup and with soba noo­dles. It was the ap­ple-fed Ye­san pork jowl that stole the show, fin­ished on char­coal and served with cab­bage and ap­ple kraut.

Xin Cui­sine at Hol­i­day Inn Singapore Atrium par­tic­i­pated for the sec­ond time, show­cas­ing five new dishes from ex­ec­u­tive Chi­nese chef Chan Shun Wong which were paired with fine wines. Black bean cod with su­pe­rior light soy sauce found a match in an un­oaked Ruffino Libaio Chardon­nay from Tus­cany, where the re­fresh­ing wine brought a fruity pro­file to the tra­di­tional dish. The fi­nale of braised noo­dles with lob­ster also worked well with a crisp white, this time a Ka­puka e Sauvi­gnon Blanc from Mal­bor­ough.

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