Category Archives: events

30 Minute Cookin’ with Celebrity Chef Eric Teo and Panasonic

A few weeks back, I was invited by Panasonic Singapore to do a sharing session on food photography and blogging at celebrity Chef Eric Teo’s Studio in Henderson.

Group photo
Group photo
A glimpse of Chef Eric Teo's work station
A glimpse of Chef Eric Teo’s work station
Media coverages on Chef Teo adorned the wall of his studio
Media coverages on Chef Teo adorned the wall of his studio
Some of Chef Teo's various award wins and trophies
Some of Chef Teo’s various award wins and trophies
Chef Teo's super bling bling robe
Chef Teo’s super bling bling robe

If you are interested to find out more on my presentation, the deck is available here (Food Photography and Blogging Basics from Alvin Lim):

Other than me sharing on photography tips using the awesome Panasonic Lumix GX7, the highlight of the day was the cooking demonstration by Chef Teo:

Chef Teo at work
Chef Teo at work
Chef Teo frying the mushrooms
Chef Teo frying the mushrooms
Chef Teo plating
Chef Teo plating
Chef Eric Teo's mixed mushroom fried with beer batter
Chef Eric Teo’s mixed mushroom fried with beer batter
Take pictures!
Take pictures!
Black tofu from black soya beans
Black tofu from black soya beans
Pouring the blended black tofu into little cups
Pouring the blended black tofu into little cups
Cooking prawns
Cooking prawns
Chef Teo working on scallops
Chef Teo working on scallops
It's just stir-fried seafood and red pepper, but Chef Teo cooked them so beautifully everyone present could not wait to taste them
It’s just stir-fried seafood and red pepper, but Chef Teo cooked them so beautifully everyone present could not wait to taste them
Adding the seafood into the tofu cups
Adding the seafood into the tofu cups
Chef Eric Teo's black tofu with seafood
Chef Eric Teo’s black tofu with seafood – my favourite dish for the day 
Moving on to the last dish - sambal fried rice
Moving on to the last dish – sambal fried rice
Chef Teo joked that experts only add the eggs right at the end
Chef Teo joked that experts only add the eggs right at the end
Close-up on the beautiful rice grains
Close-up on the beautiful rice grains
Plating the fried rice
Plating the fried rice
Chef Eric Teo's sambal fried rice
Chef Eric Teo’s sambal fried rice

You can view all the photos I took at the event with the Panasonic Lumix GX7 in this public facebook album.

The event was organised by local production company, Rolleyes. Teaming up with six renowned local chefs, Rolleyes seeks to make gourmet home cooking a reality for their viewers through their new 30 Minute Cookin’ series:

In each episode, viewers are shown how to achieve two to three-course meals within 30 minutes. Chef Teo’s demonstration is as part of this programme.

Visit 30 Minute Cookin' for more details
Visit 30 Minute Cookin’ for more details

You can watch Chef Teo’s cooking demonstrations as well as more from other  renowned chefs via the official website for 30 Minute Cookin’. 🙂

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KidsFest 2014 – Tickets on sale now

Last weekend, I brought Asher to the KidsFest 2014 preview at the British Club where he met some of the performers, including the Gruffalo’s Child – a character which he is familiar with from the Gruffalo series of children books which Rachel reads to him:

Kids meet the Gruffalo's Child
Kids meet the Gruffalo’s Child
Asher hi-five with the gruffalo's child
Asher hi-five with the gruffalo’s child
Kids meet King Henry
Kids meet King Henry
Gruffalo story book reading time
Gruffalo story book reading time
Playing games
Playing games

KidsFest debuted in Hong Kong and Singapore in 2012 and will return from 15 Jan to 9 Feb 2014 next year with nine international theatre productions adapted from best-selling children’s books.

KidsFest 2014 muffins
KidsFest 2014 muffins

The family-friendly productions will be shown at two performing venues in 2014; at DBS Arts Centre and Drama Centre Theatre.

KidsFest 2014  also see the introduction of KidsFest+ – an exclusive backstage experience on scheduled dates for selected productions where fans can interact up close with the cast over an autograph or photo session – much like the fun preview session which I brought Asher to.

Roaaarrrrrr!
Roaaarrrrrr!

“KidsFest is an exciting festival for the whole family where compelling characters are brought to life and scenes from well-loved books are enacted vividly on stage. It is a wonderful platform for family bonding and at the same time, nurtures a child’s interest in literature and language. Our aim is for KidsFest to be a staple in Singapore’s calendar of cultural events when families can look forward to a series of world-class productions,” said Mr Matthew Gregory, Executive Producer of ABA Productions Pte Ltd.

The KidsFest 2014 organisers promise each production to be an adventure for the family; with catchy music, engaging scenes and even audience participation for some. There will also be surprises thrown in for the kids along the way.

Tickets are on sale now, with prices range from S$35 to S$62.

Book them at any SISTIC outlet, official SISTIC website or call the hotline 6348 5555. For more information, visit the official KidsFest website and the official Singapore Facebook page.

Here are some of the shows to look out for in KidsFest 2014: 

Back by popular demand is of course, the well-loved Gruffalo! This charming production adapted from the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler showcases Mouse’s adventurous journey into the ‘deep dark wood’ and his encounter with the terrifying Gruffalo. Though the use of sheer wit, learn how the quick-thinking Mouse evades danger.

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s sell out tour comes the must-watch sequel; The Gruffalo’s Child. Find out just how brave the Gruffalo’s Child is as she ventures into the ‘deep dark wood’ to find the ‘big bad mouse’, the one thing her father, The Gruffalo is afraid of.

For the history-buff, you’re in for a treat! Indulge in the drama during the Tudors dynasty at Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors starring the monarch, Henry VIII himself. Hear the legend (and the lies!), find out about the triumphs and what is so terrible during this enthralling era.

The HORRIBLE HISTORIES team also brings a fresh take into the mysterious world of ancient Egypt as they unearth the enigmatic symbols in Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians. Learn the power of the pyramids and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in town – find out why the Egyptians made their mummies and how they did it!

Some other must-watch productions includes What the Lady Bird Heard, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Snow Dragon and Private Peaceful as they grace the local stage for the first time In 2014.

Fifth VIP Fashion Night @ The Shoppe at Marina Bay Sands

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands staged its fifth VIP Fashion Night last Friday in a colourful display of fashion and festivities.

The one-night only signature mall event presented exclusive treats for shoppers, from live entertainment to roving fashion shows, special in-store activities and many retailer offers. Lucky shoppers also walked away with 250 gift redemptions from Oroton, Pandora, Penhaligon’s, TODAI, as well as tickets to the upcoming Starlight Express show by Andrew Lloyd Webber showing 13-24 November at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands.

The night saw a brilliant display of two roving fashion shows featuring the season’s latest trends from 18 participating retailers at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The two roving fashion shows throughout the night displayed the season’s latest trends from 18 fashion labels at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Participating retailers were 6Five Barcode, adidas, Anne Fontaine, Evisu, Germain, Guess, Harley Davidson, Ferrari, iROO, Juicy Couture, Marisfrolg, Miss Sixty, MOISELLE, N.Tyler, Salon by Surrender, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, Pashma and Porsche Design:

Some of the roving models on stage
Some of the roving models on stage
Another four of the roving models
Another four of the roving models

Shoppers also grooved to the best beats at the VIP Party Bar with special guest DJs from KU DE TA Joshua (Head Resident DJ) and DJ Deepak (Resident DJ) helming the decks. Live music acts including Jazz at The Shoppes and a string quartet performance also injected smooth vibes, lending a soothing respite to all.

Shoppers registration
Shoppers registration
The VIP Party Bar with red carpet
The VIP Party Bar with red carpet

Amidst the shopping extravaganza, shoppers get to enjoy complimentary champagne upon arrival, free popcorn and candy floss. Two mock photo studios set up by LUMEN gave fashionistas a glimpse into all the excitement that takes place behind the scenes of a fashion photo shoot.

British fragrance house Penhaligon’s also launched its new perfume – the Iris Prima – on VIP Fashion Night. The Iris Prima is an elegant scent that offers a fascinating glimpse into the magical world of ballet:

Penhaligon's at Marina Bay Sands
Penhaligon’s at Marina Bay Sands
Introducing, the Iris Prima
Introducing, the Iris Prima
The ballerina story behind the creation of the Iris Prima
The ballerina story behind the creation of the Iris Prima
Ballet themed visual merchandising
Ballet themed visual merchandising

Come 9 to 19 October, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands will present Fashion Week 2013, its largest ever fashion show on property over an 11-day extravaganza. Organised by FIDé Fashion Weeks, the highly anticipated fashion event will see over 30 inspiring presentations of Men’s and Women’s Prêt-à-Porter and Couture labels that are set to blaze Asia’s fashion scene. Get your tickets now. (Tickets start from S$20 for a single show)

StarHub TVB Awards 2013 – Full Winners List

Starhub TVB Awards 2013
Starhub TVB Awards 2013

Last Saturday, the StarHub TVB Awards 2013 capped off a night to remember as the industry’s biggest names gathered at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre to honour the best in TVB programming. Broadcasted ‘live’ on E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) for the first time, the Awards saw a total of 31 trophies presented across 20 categories.

Thanks to Starhub, Rachel and I attended the ‘live’ recording of the show.

The biggest winner of the night was Triumph in the Skies II (衝上雲霄2) which completed a clean sweep of four wins with Myolie Wu (胡杏儿) and Julian Cheung (张智霖) winning the My Favourite TVB Male and Female TV Character awards for their roles in the blockbuster hit drama. Even more impressively, it also snagged both the My Favourite TVB Drama and the Singapore Media’s Favourite TVB Drama awards, proving its pedigree as a series with both mass appeal and critical acclaim.

Three cast members from Triumphs in the Skies II up on stage
Three cast members from Triumph in the Skies II up on stage

Rachel and I had not seen this TVB series before the awards, but we left intrigued enough to want to catch it now on Starhub!

The Awards also saw local viewers voicing their strong support for the local production, Lady First (女人我最大) – Singapore, which beat strong competition from established names to walk away with the My Favourite TVB Variety Show and My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host awards. Both awards were open to public voting and marked the first time a local programme won a StarHub TVB Award.

Pauline Lan on stage
Pauline Lan on stage
Pauline Lan getting affectionate on stage
Pauline Lan getting affectionate on stage

Lady First (女人我最大) is one of Rachel’s favourite TV program and Pauline Lan (蓝心湄), the anchor host of the show is one of her all-time favourite TV host. Rachel was thrilled to see Pauline Lan make her appearance on stage at the awards show.

A surprise appearance by Michael Miu (苗侨伟) stole the show as the veteran claimed the Classic TVB Character award, much to the delight of the packed theatre and the thousands of viewers watching at home. One of TVB’s ‘Five Tigers’ in the 1980s, Miu became a household name with his role as Yong Kang in the 1983 TVB series, The Legend of the Condor Heroes (射雕英雄传).

Miu joked about how the award he won is for old-timers who are about to retire and he thinks he is still in his prime now. He is 55 years old this year, but I would have to agree with him that he still have a long way to retirement. Just look at how suave he still look at this age:

Michael Miu, looking as good as ever
Michael Miu, looking as good as ever

The most coveted individual accolades – My Favourite TVB Actress and My Favourite TVB Actor, were won by Tavia Yeung (杨怡) and Bosco Wong (黄宗泽) respectively. Bosco then made it two out of two with the My Favourite TVB Male TV Character award before sealing his hat-trick of wins by sharing the My Favourite TVB On Screen Couple award with Niki Chow (周丽淇) for their irresistible onscreen chemistry in A Change of Heart (好心作怪).

Tavis Yeung collecting her trophy
Tavis Yeung collecting her trophy
Bosco Wong getting his award on stage from Pauline Lan
Bosco Wong getting his award on stage from Pauline Lan

Rounding off the night were Christine Kuo (苟芸慧) and Jason Chan (陈智燊)’s deserved wins in the Best TVB Female and Male Newcomer categories.

An elated Jason Chan thanking his fans on stage
An elated Jason Chan thanking his fans on stage

Hosted by King Kong Li (金剛) and Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), the Awards ceremony featured memorable performances from artistes such as Mag Lam (林欣彤) who enthralled the audience with her My Favourite TVB Theme Song award-winning song, Little Something from Season of Love (戀愛季節).

Hosts, King Kong Li and Elaine Yiu
Hosts, King Kong Li and Elaine Yiu
Mag Lam singing Little Something
Mag Lam singing Little Something

Linda Chung (钟嘉欣), who picked up a My Favourite TVB Female TV Character award and the Everlasting Glow Award, also took to the stage to perform Eternal Flame, while the cast of the local movie That Girl in Pinafore (我的朋友, 我的同学, 我爱过的一切) brought some local flavour to the event with a xinyao medley.

Linda Chung collecting an award on stage
Linda Chung collecting an award on stage
Linda Chung singing Eternal Flame
Linda Chung singing Eternal Flame
Another picture of Linda Chung singing
Another picture of Linda Chung singing
Xinyao performance by casts of The Girl in Pinafore
Xinyao performance by casts of The Girl in Pinafore

Not to be outdone, the finalists of TVB’s hit reality singing competition The Voice of the Stars (星夢傳奇) responded with a unique medley of their own, putting a fresh spin to a collection of classic theme songs.

Four singers from The Voices of the Stars
Four singers from The Voices of the Stars

The StarHub TVB Awards 2013 kicked off with the red carpet special where some local celebrities shared the stage with the pantheon of TVB A-listers in front of hundreds of screaming fans. Viewers also played their part in making it a memorable night by voting Linda Chung as the inaugural winner of the best dressed Red Carpet Star via the StarHub TV Buddy second screen app.

“We are pleased with yet another successful StarHub TVB Awards. The Awards represents the strong partnership between StarHub and TVB, one which has progressed beyond broadcasting to include localised content productions such as Lady First – Singapore. As an event, we have also raised the bar with the first-ever ‘live’ broadcast of the Awards ceremony. Together, we will continue to provide the best TVB experience for our customers. My congratulations to the winners,” said Mr Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer, StarHub.

“Since its inception, the StarHub TVB Awards has grown to become one of the marquee events of the year. It has been a joy working with StarHub for the past two decades and we are appreciative of StarHub’s continuous efforts in promoting TVB productions to Singapore viewers. Long may this continue,” said Mr Sherman Lee, Controller, International Business, TVBI.

All the TVB stars on stage
All the TVB stars on stage

The StarHub TVB Awards 2013 is presented by Jean Yip Group. Main Sponsors are SK Jewellery and OSIM. The event is co-sponsored by Hada Labo, Panasonic and Phyto. The Official Smartphone is HTC, the Official Car is Mercedes Benz and the Official Integrated Resort is Marina Bay Sands.

If you missed the show on Saturday, fret not – you can catch the repeat telecast on VV Drama (StarHub TV Channel 855) on 5 October 2013, 8pm.

For more pictures taken during the awards show, please visit the official Alvinology facebook page. 

For more information on the Awards, please visit the official Starhub website.

Full List of StarHub TVB Awards 2013 (星和无线电视大奖 2013) Winners:

1. My Favourite TVB Actress 我最爱TVB女艺人
Tavia Yeung杨怡

2. My Favourite TVB Actor 我最爱TVB男艺人
Bosco Wong黄宗泽

3. My Favourite TVB Female TV Character 我最爱TVB电视女角色
Niki Chow 周丽淇 《好心作怪》 – 阮小吉
Michelle Yim米雪 《大太监》 – 慈禧太后
Linda Chung钟嘉欣 《护花危情》 – 乔子琳
Kate Tsui徐子珊 《雷霆扫毒》 – 陈家碧
Myolie Wu胡杏儿 《冲上云霄 II》 – 夏晨
Tavia Yeung杨怡 《名媛望族 》 – 康子君

Niki Chow collecting her award
Niki Chow collecting her award
Michelle Yim on stage to receive her award - she still look so gorgeous at her age!
Michelle Yim on stage to receive her award – she still look so gorgeous at her age!
Myolie Wu collecting her award
Myolie Wu collecting her award

4. My Favourite TVB Male TV Character 我最爱TVB电视男角色
Ruco Chan陈展鹏 《情越海岸线》 – 程礼荣
Bosco Wong黄宗泽 《护花危情》 – 许玮琛
Raymond Lam林峯 《雷霆扫毒》 – 韦世乐
Julian Cheung张智霖 《冲上云霄 II》 – 顾夏阳
Kenneth Ma马国明 《回到三国》 – 司马信
Moses Chan陈豪 《金枝欲孽贰》 – 高流斐

5. My Favourite TVB Drama 我最爱TVB电视剧集
Triumph in the Skies II 《冲上云霄 II》

6. My Favourite TVB Mega Variety Special 我最爱TVB大型综艺节目
TVB Golden Viva Spectacular (LIVE) 《TVB新春黄金庆典》

7. My Favourite TVB Variety Show 我最爱TVB综艺节目
Lady First – Singapore 《女人我最大新加坡》

8. My Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple 我最爱TVB荧幕情侶
Bosco Wong & Niki Chow (A Change Of Heart) 黄宗泽 & 周丽淇 《好心作怪》

9. My Favourite TVB Theme Song 我最爱TVB电视主題曲
Little Something by Mag Lam 《恋爱季节》主題曲 Little Something – 林欣彤

Mag Lam on stage
Mag Lam on stage

10. My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host 我最爱TVB综艺节目主持人
Pauline Lan (Lady First – Singapore) 蓝心湄 《女人我最大新加坡》

11. Everlasting Glow Award全天候亮丽艺人奖
Linda Chung 钟嘉欣

The always gorgeous Linda Chung
The always gorgeous Linda Chung

12. Most Glamorous Female Artiste Award最璀璨夺目女艺人奖
Kate Tsui 徐子珊

Kate Tsui collecting her award
Kate Tsui collecting her award

13. Best TVB Female Newcomer最佳女新人奖
Christine Kuo 苟芸慧

14. Best TVB Male Newcomer最佳男新人奖
Jason Chan 陈智燊

15. Star of Perfect Poise Award魅力体态大奖
Raymond Lam 林峯

Raymond Lam on stage to collect his award
Raymond Lam on stage to collect his award

16. Most Improved TVB Actress飞跃进步女艺人
Mandy Wong黄智雯

Mandy Wong collecting her award
Mandy Wong collecting her award

17. Most Improved TVB Actor飞跃进步男艺人
Him Law罗仲谦

Him Law on stage for his award
Him Law on stage for his award

18. Singapore Media’s Favourite TV Drama本地传媒最爱TVB剧集
Triumph in the Skies II 《冲上云霄 II》

19. Classic TVB Character TVB 经典电视角色
Michael Miu 苗侨伟(杨康/司徒文武/楚留香/方自力)

20. Red Carpet Star靓爆星光大道奖
Linda Chung钟嘉欣

Bye bye and see you next year!
Bye bye and see you next year!

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Celebrates 2nd Birthday in Singapore with Slew of Rewards for Everyone

Nescafe Dolce Gusto roadshow in Marina Square earlier this year
Nescafe Dolce Gusto roadshow in Marina Square earlier this year

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto turns two in Singapore this September. To reward everyone in appreciation of our support, they are running 2 promotions and 2 limited edition variants.

Me with Valerio Nannini, Managing Director, Nestle Singapore Ltd
Me with Valerio Nannini, Managing Director, Nestle Singapore Ltd

My family and I are fans of the Dolce Gusto. I am happy to share their birthday promotions:

Birthday Promotion 1: Purchase an AUTOMATIC SYSTEM and receive an Accessory Gift set

Receive a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Accessory Gift set worth $64.70 with the purchase of any NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Automatic system – Circolo Automatic (S$339), Genio Automatic (S$259) or the recently launched MELODY Automatic (S$279).

The gift set consists of a Bubble Capsule holder, Ceramic Travel Mug and Chococino Glass set.

Promotion is valid from 1st September to 30th September 2013 and on a while stocks last basis.

Birthday Promotion 2: Purchase CAPSULES and Redeem a Mocha Fudge Supreme Cake

Following the overwhelming response from last year, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is once again collaborating with local home-grown cake-shop – Awfully Chocolate, to present you with an exclusive Mocha Fudge Supreme Cake (worth more than $30).

Enjoy this divine creation featuring Awfully Chocolate’s famous all chocolate cake infused with coffee using NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto’s very own Espresso Intenso.

Redeem this birthday cake with the purchase of any 6 boxes of your favourite capsules during the promotion period. To ensure that you enjoy the freshest creation, consumers can order anytime from 1st September onwards and a pre-order is required at least 3 days in advance.

Promotion period is from 1st September to 30th September 2013. Redemption is on a while stocks last basis during the promotion period at selected outlets. Terms and conditions apply.

Two Limited Edition Variants

Watch out for these 2 tantalising variants – the Cortado Espresso Macchiato and NESTEA Lemon, both single capsule variants.

  1. Cortado Espresso Macchiato – epresso with a touch of milk, all in one capsule
  2. NESTEA Lemon – chilled tea lemon flavour

NESTEA Lemon and Cortado Espresso Macchiato retails at S$10.90 each for a box of 16 capsules. Variants are available for a limited period of time, while stocks last.

Happy birthday Nescafe Dolce Gusto! :)
Happy birthday Nescafe Dolce Gusto! 🙂

About NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto

The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto multi-beverage system redefines “house blend,” offering aficionados the luxury and ease of brewing a rich variety of delicious café style beverages from the convenience of your home or office. Recognizing that coffee cravings can change from day to day and from person to person, NESCAFÉ, the world’s largest coffee brand, has teamed up with KRUPS, the world leader in espresso coffee machines, to serve up a unique 15 bar pressure coffee machine. The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is a stylish machine that serves single-cup coffeehouse caliber coffee made from premium Arabica and Robusta beans, roast and grounded to perfection. The machine has received accolades for its sleek design that brings a fun accent to all kitchen countertops. For more information: www.dolce-gusto.com.sg.

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Systems and capsules are now available at TANGS Orchard boutique, TANGS VivoCity, Takashimaya, Isetan, OG, BEST DENKI, Harvey Norman, COURTS, Fair Price Finest, Fair Price XTRA, selected Fair Price stores, selected Market Place and Cold Storage stores, GIANT and authorised dealers.

TOSHIBA Canvio Portable Hard Drive @ COMEX 2013

Can you guess what this beautiful gadget is?
Can you guess what this beautiful gadget is?

Are you heading to the Comex 2013 IT and consumer electronics exhibition this weekend?

If you are looking to purchase a portable hard drive, do check out the TOSHIBA Canvio portable hard disk. This is the latest external hard disk coming from trusted electronics brand, TOSHIBA and you will receive a free pouch, exclusive only for purchases at COMEX.

Here are some pictures of my 1TB TOSHIBA Canvio Slim II Portable Hard Drive (S$129) in metallic black with the free pouch:

My TOSHIBA Canvio, still in the box with the free pouch
My TOSHIBA Canvio, still in the box with the free pouch
Unboxed, unwrapped
Unboxed, unwrapped
The free pouch
The free pouch

Key product highlights include:

  • Ability to clone and restore your computer easily with NTI Backup Now EZ full system backup in case of a PC crash
  • Include Pogoplug software (worth USD$29.95) for PC/Mac, allowing you to access files in your hard drive anywhere from your tablet or smartphone
  • Free 10GB Cloud Storage
  • Password protection for your hard drive
  • Customise your backup to selected folders and files
  • Automatic backup scheduling
  • Works with both PC and Mac (with included NTFS driver) for data storage

I love the slim build and metallic finish. It almost looks too beautiful for a hard disk! Fyi, the 500GB Toshiba Canvio won an internationally acclaimed reddot design award this year. 

SingTel Hawker Heroes Challenge – Meeting Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay and Seetoh from Makansutra
Gordon Ramsay and Seetoh from Makansutra

Rachel and I are both fans of celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay and his fiery temper. We love to watch him scolding people after a hard day at work to unwind.

When we knew Singtel has gotten him to come to Singapore in a Hawker Heroes Challenge, both of us knew we have to attend the event.

Singaporeans love food - look at the crowd this event drew
Singaporeans love food – look at the crowd this event drew

In the contest held at Newton Food Centre, more than 1000 members of the public started queuing from 1am the night before to witness the exciting culinary showdown and sampled chicken rice, laksa and chilli crab prepared by Chef Ramsay and three popular Singapore hawkers (Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, 328 Katong Laksa and Jumbo Seafood Restaurant).

Guy touting hawker food tee-shirts
Guy touting hawker food tee-shirts

Lucky for us, we had a media pass from Singtel and Rachel was able to cut the queue.

Lots of people in the media area too
Lots of people in the media area too

Here are the dishes whipped up by Gordon Ramsay and the three hawkers:

Hawker heroes' dishes in red cover and Chef Ramsay's dishes in white
Hawker heroes’ dishes in red cover and Chef Ramsay’s dishes in white
Chef Ramsay's dishes are in the bottom row while the hawkers' dishes are on the top row
Chef Ramsay’s dishes are in the bottom row while the hawkers’ dishes are on the top row
Chef Ramsay's laksa
Chef Ramsay’s laksa
Hawker hero's laksa
Hawker hero’s laksa
Chef Ramsay's chicken rice
Chef Ramsay’s chicken rice
Chef Ramsay's chili crab
Chef Ramsay’s chili crab

Rachel’s verdict was similar to mine after we both blind tasted all the dishes – we voted for the hawkers for the chicken rice and laksa dishes, but chose Chef Ramsay’s dish for chili crab.

Chef Ramsay had a very difficult task. These three dishes are all familiar everyday dishes to many Singaporeans, and it is hard to compete against familiar tastes.

We have pre-conceived notions of what a dish like laksa is and ought to taste like. While Chef Ramsay can try to improve on it, he will still lose the taste test as Singaporeans may find his flavours unfamiliar.

The unfamiliar element was the strongest for me in Chef Ramsay’s laksa dish. While the broth was palatable and delicious, it does not taste distinctly like the laksa I am familiar with and appears more like a foreign dish masquerading as laksa by mimicking the flavours.

For the chili crab, on first bite, I wanted to pick the Jumbo’s version, finding comfort in the familiar taste. However, after a few more mouth of the gravy, Chef Ramsay’s version is more flavourful and lingered longer in taste.

This is the first time Rachel and I tried out something cooked by Chef Ramsay himself. It is a wonderful experience for foodies, and kudos to the team at Singtel for working on a national-scale campaign like this.

Diners were asked to vote for our preferred version of each dish. In the end, the Singapore hawker heroes narrowly edged-out Chef Ramsay in the live poll by 6 per cent of the total vote in the closely contested battle. In each dish category, Tian Tian Chicken Rice won by 6 per cent, 328 Katong Laksa by 19 per cent and Chef Ramsay’s version of Chilli Crab triumphed by 5 per cent.

Lots of people were at the event
Lots of people were at the event

Chef Ramsay said: “It’s been phenomenal to see how passionate the people of Singapore are about their hawker fare. The hawkers have impressed me with their ability to whip-up dishes with such amazing flavours. Now that I’ve experienced the best of Singapore cuisine, I can say without doubt the people of Singapore have much to be proud of – authentic, genuine, simple food, that is of amazing quality and full of flavour.”

Gordon Ramsay taking media interviews
Gordon Ramsay taking media interviews

Mdm Foo Kui Lian, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, said: “I enjoyed teaching Chef Ramsay the art of making chicken rice. Although his version was very unique, it was still very appetising. The SingTel Hawker Heroes challenge was a wonderful celebration of the good food we have here in Singapore.”

Mr Ang Kiam Meng, Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, said: “The contest was a great way to recognise the skills and talent of our local hawkers. Chilli crab is an iconic Singapore dish that takes many years to master and we are glad that it was featured in the contest. We are confident that the people of Singapore will continue to support our hawkers and keep our unique food culture alive.”

Mr Ryan Koh, 328 Katong Laksa, said: “We are grateful to our friends, family and supporters for voting for us, and to SingTel for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge a world famous chef like Gordon Ramsay. It was a truly amazing experience!”

The three hawkers were chosen out of a group of 12 popular hawkers to take on Chef Ramsay through an online poll that sparked national interest. More than 2.5 million votes were cast over 8 days, with the three hawkers garnering approximately 320,000 votes each.

Gordon Ramsay posing for pictures
Gordon Ramsay posing for pictures

About SingTel Hawker Heroes

In June, seven of Singapore’s most well-regarded food bloggers with the support of SingTel had issued an invite to Chef Ramsay, to help determine if our hawker food has what it takes to match up to the prestigious standards of the world renowned Michelin guide.

This invite was issued amidst concerns about the future of Singapore’s hawker heritage, with fewer picking up the craft from the current generation of hawkers. It also aims to address the debate among foodies whether our hawkers are as talented as Michelin-starred chefs and if international recognition would boost the hawker trade.