We are honoured to be invited to the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Chefs’ A La Minute – to be up close and personal with over 20 Masterchefs (visiting and local) this year. At CHIJMES hall, it was panned out like a speed-dating event where the media rotated around tables of Masterchefs to ask them just about anything under the sun.
There was a frantic scramble as we only had five minutes at each table and there just wasn’t enough time for me to squeeze out much from each and every one of them. Nevertheless, my valiant attempt did reveal some of the most memorable scoops from the Masterchefs highlighted below.
World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Chefs’ A La Minute
Kevin Thorton (Ireland)
My first encounter was with visiting Masterchef Kevin Thorton. He had brought along a 4,000-year-old cheese which had been buried underground. He took pride in showing it to me, saying that it would be sprinkled on the dining delights he would be serving up during the WGS festival. Would that be enough, I wondered aloud. He assured me that a sprinkle would be enough to do marvels to the taste. For a chef who has received two Michelin-stars, I wouldn’t doubt him (even though I never got to taste the cheese)!
Yaroslav Artyukh (Ukraine)
Yaroslav Artyukh is probably the youngest amongst all the Masterchefs at the event. When asked about the Ukrainian food that he would like to introduce to the Singapore palate, he mentioned Borscht (sour soup) and Varenyky (dumplings). He explained that Ukrainian dumplings are different from Chinese dumplings in two ways – Firstly, the dumpling skin is made from wheat flour instead of rice flour. Secondly, the fillings can be savoury or sweet (as a dessert). The Masterchef will be presenting both dishes in the WGS festival.
Akira Back (USA)
Present at CHIJMES too was Masterchef Akira Back himself. Having been to Singapore on numerous occasions (as he has a namesake restaurant in JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach), he counted the chicken rice and chilli crab as one of his favourite local food. I immediately put him to task by asking him to name one of his dishes that could rival the chicken rice. His answer – the Gyudon (Japanese beef rice bowl) which is pretty much a common folk dish in Japan. However, what sets his Gyudon apart from all other Gyudons is the combination of specially-selected beef with egg yolk and foie gras. (PS: For those keen to try it out, the Gyudon is available in his Singapore namesake restaurant.)
It was an eye-opening and a pleasure to be at the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Chefs’ A La Minute to meet these outstanding chefs; to be inspired by them and to know their story behind each wrinkle. It was our honour to be part of the yearly WGS affair.
World Gourmet Summit (WGS) 2018
Internationally recognized food and wine event
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.