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