Monday, August 17, 2009

Singapore Junior Chefs Forum 2009

Singapore Junior Chefs Forum 2009

Singapore Junior Chefs Forum will be a fun and spontaneous educational forum which allows members to gain in depth knowledge of subjects pertaining to their culinary career. Members can expect to interact and listen to Chefs and their culinary journeys, be amazed by culinary demonstrations, whilst getting to know more likeminded young aspiring budding chefs.

* Registration with respective institution's Liaison Officers strictly required. We regret to inform that members who fail to register with their LOs may be turned away.

TCA: Chef Lilian Lim TAS: Derrick Lau SHA: Chef Matthew Yim ITE: Chef Edwin Tan BCS: Chef Gary Lim at-sunrice: email

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tabasco AsiaCuisine writeup

AsiaCuisine Feature Story

A Really Hot Experience!

While attending this year’s SJCC Tabasco HoTChef Team Challenge 2009 which was held at ITE College West’s Clementi Campus last Saturday, I found a handful of similarities throughout the whole event. But before I go into any details about these similarities, I shall begin with all the formalities with regards to this year’s competition. Jointly organised annually by Tabasco and the Singapore Junior Chefs Club (SJCC), this culinary competition is meant for the members of the club who are also the current students of a culinary institution. This year, eight teams of three members each competed to be the victor and also the chance to travel to Hong Kong to represent Singapore in the Battle of the Hottest Chefs competition to be held in the later part of this year. Students from three institutions took part – Shatec Institutes, Temasek Polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

To judge this year’s competition, the organisers brought in a panel of esteemed adjudicators comprising the who’s who of the culinary scene of Singapore. Chef Otto Weibel, president mentor of Singapore Chefs Association (SCA) acted as the head judge and he was joined in the judging panel by the vice president of SCA, Chef Edmund Toh, Mr Kan Cheong (regional director of Tabasco), Chef David Box (director of culinary operations and food & beverage of Resorts World Sentosa) and Chef Randy Chow (executive chef of Mount Elizabeth Hospital). When asked to comment on this year’s competition, Chef Weibel said before giving out the prizes to the winners, “The quality of the winners this year is very high and I’m glad to say that we’re able to see improvements every year. Obviously, they are also the not-so-good ones but I believe the efforts put in by these students today are commendable.” Cheong, speaking on behalf of Tabasco, told the audience who attended the event, “Tabasco is always happy to sponsor such event because we want to give the students an opportunity to shine, to give them the exposure needed.”

Now back to the similarities that I mentioned earlier on, well, the obvious would be the fact that all dishes created by the students for the competition must include Tabasco as an ingredient. It does not matter which variety of Tabasco the students use for each dish; what’s more important is the fact that the Tabasco flavour is an accompaniment to the dish, not overpowering the other elements of the dishes. The students had to prepare six amuse bouche (2 meats, 2 seafood, 1 vegetarian and 1 dessert) for the competition. In total, they were told to create ten items from each category – five for the judges to taste while another five to be displayed. Marks were given for their mise-en-place, hygiene, composition, creativity, presentation, practicality, taste and table display. Besides the top three winners, teams who were adjudged the best in hygiene and presentation were also awarded accordingly.

The next similarity, (gasp!), all the top three winning teams for this year’s competition came from one culinary institution – Temasek Polytechnic. The 2nd runner-up of the competition was S.A.Y. Temasek (Tay Yu Wei, Yeo Yong Wei and Nur Shahidah Abdul Samad), the 1st runner-up was The Junior Legend (Edmund Lim Kai Wai, Jeremy Chang Chi Lin and Corinne Chung Ke Wen) and the culinary crown for this year went to the trio of Aletheia Heah, Ong Hui Xin and Sean Lim Xin Hong who made up Temasek Torques. The three of them will fly off to Hong Kong sometime this year to compete at the Battle of the Hottest Chefs competition against the winning team from Hong Kong. And here at, we’re wishing them the very best and do bring back the trophy!

And one final similarity before I end this week’s feature story; but before I mention what it is, Chef Weibel had this to say, “Some of the competitors this year could give some professional chefs a run for their money. The level of culinary knowledge and techniques they’ve shown is just spectacular. I’m amazed by the amount of passion, dedication and creativity they’re showing.” Well, just how amazing the top three winners are? Ladies and gentlemen, even though these students are still pursuing their education in their respective culinary competition, they’re already so adept in molecular gastronomy. All three winning teams incorporated elements of avant garde cuisine in their creations. From spherification to espuma to sous vide, the three teams never failed to impress and this is what set them apart from their fellow competitors. And as Cheong said, this competition really has enabled the students to shine indeed!