Thursday, September 30, 2010

SJCC - Nestle Professional Rising Chefs Challenge 2010

The Spotlight On Singapore’s Young Chefs And New Talents
The Second Annual Rising Chefs Challenge 2010

23 SEPTEMBER 2010 – As part of its commitment to nurture the young in the hospitality industry, Nestlé Professional along with the Singapore Junior Chefs Club organised the second annual Rising Chefs Challenge 2010 last Saturday, 18 September at Tourism Academy @ Sentosa. Eight teams of two junior chefs each competed ina gruelling challenge that saw them pittheir culinary skills to be recognised as the Rising Chefs of 2010. The teams from different culinary schools and restaurants were given two hours each to prepare a restaurant platter for five, focusing on creativity, technique, taste and nutrition using three Nestlé Professional products – MAGGI Chef’s Secret, MAGGI Mash Potato Instant Mix and Buitoni Coulis De Tomate.

Temasek Polytechnic proved to be the culinary college to beat when three of its teams emerged as the top three winners of the competition. The champion walked away with a challenge trophy, certificate and the ultimate prize of an all-expense paid trip to China to intern and train at one of the country’s top restaurants. The winner was The Secret Chefs. Made up of Temasek Polytechnic’s applied science students, Andy Tan and Ethan Goh, the duo created a restaurant platter that showcased their creativity.

Goh said, “We decided to make full use of a whole duck when we brainstorm for ideas for our dish. We sous vide the duck breast and served it with an orange carrot purée while the duck thigh was braised with the Buitoni Coulis de Tomate. The bones from the duck were used to make our cooking stock and we also featured a polenta crumbed foie gras to complete the dish.”

Team Temasek CCM (Calvin Tan and Piak Jia Ying) proved to be a force to be reckoned with as the first runner-up. Their creation of herb crusted lamb rack and spiced loin, ratatouille of Buitoni Coulis de Tomate, asparagus and glazed pearl onion, Maggi croquette potato with currant and berry sauce charmed the judges with their originality and creativity. They also took home a challenge trophy and certificate for their effort along with a knife set worth S$1,400. Tan revealed, “We really enjoyed using these products. They’re so versatile and we benefitted from it. It was definitely a good challenge for us as we managed to incorporate the three products seamlessly into our dish.”

The second runner-up prize of a challenge trophy, certificate and S$700 book hamper went to Pay Sin Wei and Jessica Tan of Team BCS, also from Temasek Polytechnic. They both also won the best hygiene title. Presenting a unique dish, the duo went with sous vide shark steak in spicy tomato avocado sauce, sour cream Duchesse potatoes and sautéed asparagus in raspberry infused hollandaise. Pay shared, “When we found out that we’re supposed to use the Maggi Mash Potato Instant Mix, we knew we had to create a new version of the famous Duchesse potatoes. We’re very happy with the results. Like our fellow competitors, we used the Maggi Chef’s Secret Seasoning as our flavouring. We omitted the usage of salt because it was better than salt, full of flavours!”

The remaining participants each received a consolation prize as well as a certificate and they are Team Cuscaden (Yeo Sheng Xiong and Muhammad Shawal), Team Victory (Jessica Tan and Rachael Koh), Team Les Atascia (Kiti Kui and Leong Li Ping), Team MK (Chia Jue Xian and Jeagan s/o Nadzan) and Team Republic One (Agassiz Kong and Wong Quinnson).

The adjudicators of the competition represented the who’s who of Singapore’s culinary scene. Led by the culinary godfather, Chef Otto Weibel himself, the panel consisted of Chef Eric Teo, president of the Singapore Chefs Association, Roger Frei, Nestlé Professional’s regional food manager for Asia, Oceania and Africa and Lydia Tan, nutritionist with the Health Promotion Board. Speaking during the prize presentation, Chef Weibel said, “The judges saw a lot of creativity today and a lot of effort put in by all teams. Everyone did a good job today. It’s important for junior chefs like all of you to constantly push yourselves and participate in competitions like these. Only then you’ll have the exposure and experience. It’s more important than winning but always remember to try your best.”

Also at the prize presentation was Jasmmine Wong, country business manager for Nestlé Singapore. Speaking on behalf of Nestlé, she offered, “I’m surprised with the quality of work we have here today. It’s very impressive and I want to congratulate every one of you. All of you will be very successful one day, in your own individual way. Just remember to keep asking the question – how to make yourself better.”

Winning Dish

Winning Team- The Secret Chefs: Ethan Goh & Andy Tan Chun Fu

As the curtains drew to a close, Singapore Junior Chefs Club and Nestlé Professional have once again organised a successful competition and there was already buzz for next year’s competition which promised to be even bigger and better.


30 September 2010 – The gold medal and best establishment award in the prestigious Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Black Box Culinary Challenge has been awarded to Temasek Culinary Academy !
The MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge is a hands-on outside catering concept for young chefs. For the first time, the event was held truly outdoors at the Coliseum at Resorts World, Sentosa. The venue created an atmosphere for a battle of the gladiators or in this case, the battle of the food gladiators. The ten teams in the competition served two tables each in a banquet style setting gala dinner for distinguished guests and members of the local food and beverage (F&B) industry.

For this competition, the 84th competition held globally, the theme was simple, encourage inspiring and innovative dishes of Australian lamb and beef. The mystery 18 ingredients, were revealed a day before to the participants for the preparation of the four-course menu. The teams were each given just one hour to come up with a menu to impress the judges. The feature of the ingredient list was Kobe Cuisine D rump and White Pyrness lamb leg.

The first runner up went to Royal Plaza on Scotts and the second runner up was Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Their prizes include a medal and S$1,000 and S$500 respectively. The other awards of the night include best table display that went to Grand Copthorne Waterfront, best appetizer went to Marina Bay Sands and the best main course went to Royal Plaza on Scotts. Temasek Culinary Academy also sweeps the awards for best soup and best dessert.

The guest-of-honour of the night was His Excellency, Australian High Commissioner Doug Chester.

The judging panel was led by Alan Palmer, global competition coordinator of MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge, Chef Rick Stephen, executive chef of SATS, William Gibb Taylor, course manager of ITE, Chef Yen Koh, executive chef for Unilever Food Solutions and Chef Tony Khoo, executive chef for Marina Mandarin. The sponsors that provided the ingredients and venue for the night includes Resorts World Sentosa, Kobe Cuisine, White Pyrness, Culina, Unilever Food Solutions, DiGiorgio Family Wines, San Pellegrino and National Foods.

As the night draw to a close, the event was a success and we look forward to the next time the MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge comes to town again!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010 Annual Chef Townhall

On the 26th of June 2010, 40 young and aspiring Singapore Junior Chefs Club (SJCC) members were very privileged to have the opportunity to attend our annual Chef Townhall held at the Shatec Institute organized by SJCC. This year, we had the honour of inviting Chef Otto Weibel, Director of Kitchen, RC hotel private limited, Chef Eric Low, R&D chef, Nestle and last but not least, our very first SJCC junior competition team to grace the event.

Chef Otto Weibel started the event with a presentation entitled “Acing Competition”. Members were inspired and entertained by Chef Otto as he shared about his journey from a young boy to where he is today. In addition, he also elaborated on the little steps young chefs should take to become a promising and reputable Chef.

For the second part of the event, our SJCC junior competition team who did the nation proud took over the baton and gave a detailed presentation on their maiden competition which took place at Penang. 

Last but not least, we had Chef Eric Low presented a very unique career path for all attendees. Members were amazed as Chef Eric shared his adventures and insights from all over the world while working on different yatches.

During the break, there was a refreshment set-up by courtesy of Shatec Institutes. On behalf of SJCC, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Chef Otto Weibel, Chef Eric Low, SJCC junior competition team and Shatec Institute for making the forum such a great success!