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Thread: What to eat and drink today and tomorrow at the WGS

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    Default What to eat and drink today and tomorrow at the WGS

    Published April 11, 2007

    WORLD GOURMET SUMMIT

    What to eat and drink today and tomorrow at the WGS


    Alain Llorca and Eu Yan Sang
    Culinary Masterclasses


    (Today, Oriental Hotel, 9.30am and 3pm)

    Take your pick of Michelin-star French or healthy Chinese herbal cuisine - or enjoy both. Alain Llorca shows a trick or two while the herbal experts of Eu Yan Sang teach you how to add some healthy dishes to your cooking repertoire.

    A Taste of Luxury from the Old World & New World

    (Today, Orchard Hotel Singapore)

    The city's top chefs come together to create a luxurious foie gras menu. Saint Pierre's Emmanuel Stroobant, Orchard Hotel's Eric Teo and Chan Kwok and Christophe Megel of at-Sunrice present a different interpretation of foie gras - it may well be a cholesterol-raising affair but a delectable one at that.

    E Guigal Vintner Dinner

    (Tomorrow, Grand Hyatt Singapore)

    Savour the wines of top chateaux E Guigal with the molecular gastronomy-inspired cuisine

    of one Michelin star Korean-Belgian chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre.

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    Default WGS opens tastefully

    Published April 11, 2007

    WORLD GOURMET SUMMIT

    WGS opens tastefully

    Little fanfare but party went like clockwork

    By JAIME EE


    THERE was little fanfare at the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) opening reception this year - about the only excitement generated was hoping that the cork from the champagne bottle being popped would hurtle towards the ballroom's chandelier for a great Phantom of the Opera-style moment.

    But no. No chandelier crashed that night in the expansive surroundings of the Shangri-La ballroom that easily accommodated the crowd without people having to come within cologne-sniffing, elbow-rubbing distance of one another.

    In other words, the party went like clockwork - there was lots of food to be had (although latecomers found the pickings a little slimmer towards the end) and queues were manageable. Unlike last year, when people were crammed sardine-style into the Forbidden City, there was no need for creative foraging strategies involving mostly indiscernible levels of violence.

    An easy, relaxed atmosphere was enhanced by the live music and the free-flowing wine from participating wineries. Most of the food was provided by hotels rather than independent restaurants save for the Tung Lok group, which saw chefs Sam Leong and Thomas Chai dishing out abalone gelee and wagyu beef canapes in cute little tree bark-like containers.

    Shangri-La deserves kudos for its streamlined efficiency and staff - servers were out in full force to offer guests drinks, and one never had to look too far for a place to deposit a used fork or plate. There was always somebody nearby ready to collect them, and tables were cleared as quickly as they were cluttered.

    The food on the whole was decent, if not as memorable as last year's offerings from independent restaurants like Au Jardin, Garibaldi, Saint Pierre, Tenshin and St Julien. Still, the hotels acquitted themselves well, with unusual items like a truffle consomme spaghetti made of jelly that you sucked out of a test tube, and egg shells filled with a yuzu custard and sea urchin that guests sucked out with a straw. Some of the food stands took the trouble to dress themselves up, particularly Swissotel, which decorated their area with bright roses and vines of ivy. Their canapes were pretty too.

    All in, it was a pleasant preview of delicious things to come. And for WGS die-hards, it's going to be a busy three weeks.

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    Default Spanish flair - from a young French wonder

    Published April 11, 2007

    WORLD GOURMET SUMMIT

    Spanish flair - from a young French wonder

    Romain Fornell's cuisine is Catalan, interpreted from a French perspective

    By JAIME EE


    CONSIDERING that young Spanish chefs these days are less likely to saute than to freeze-dry, foam or Gastro-vac, it's nice to find a chef who can do all of these things but still take a commonsense approach, derived from a basic respect for the raw ingredients he works with. Maybe it also helps that he's actually French.

    Romain Fornell was born in Toulouse and went through the whole French culinary system that included stints with Alain Ducasse and the hallowed Taivellent, earning his first Michelin star in 2001 at his own restaurant Chaldette at the ripe old age of 25. He moved to Barcelona the year after and opened his current restaurant, Caelis, in 2004. Caelis received its first Michelin star this year. And Fornell's star seems to keep on shining.

    One of two talents from Spain that are taking part in this year's World Gourmet Summit, Fornell differs from his counterpart Carles Gaig, who will be here next week, in the sense that the older Gaig is a proponent of classical Catalan cuisine with a contemporary twist, while Fornell's is Catalan interpreted from a French perspective.

    At a culinary masterclass yesterday at the Four Seasons Singapore, he illustrated this by using typical Spanish ingredients like sardines and suckling pig to create some wildly imaginative dishes like marinated sardines with watermelon couscous, onion sprouts and olive oil, and suckling pig with dry fruit muesli and green apple sorbet.

    In both cases he uses Spanish and Mediterranean ingredients but applies his own French cooking techniques and a large dose of his Spanish/French aesthetic for something that is uniquely his.

    Fornell says he is friends with Ferran Adria and all the other cutting-edge chefs making names for themselves in Spain, and while he is all for using the technology that many of them have developed, he is not about to let it dictate the kind of cuisine he creates. He is not a fan of liquid nitrogen, which he says changes texture but does nothing for taste, which is paramount in his book. That may explain why, when he demonstrated a pina colada dessert, he chose to wrap it in plastic wrap and serve it in a carved ice block rather than make instant sherbet with the nitrogen, which admittedly might have been more spectacular to watch.

    For his menu during his five-day stint in Singapore at One-Ninety restaurant, he is not going to reproduce recipes from Caelis for the simple reason that he doesn't have the right produce here. Instead, he will adapt them using whatever fresh ingredients are available. But suckling pig is likely to be on the menu - one of his signature dishes using prized Spanish pork, Fornell says he is surprised at the quality of the suckling pig available here.

    Whatever ingredients he chooses, diners will be able to sample the best of both Spanish and French cuisine - all on the same plate.

    Romain Fornell at One Ninety, Four Seasons Hotel. Reservations: 6831-7250

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    Default Embark on a journey of imaginative flavours

    Published April 11, 2007

    WORLD GOURMET SUMMIT

    Embark on a journey of imaginative flavours

    French chef delights in highly inventive cuisine

    By GEOFFREY EU


    LIKE all seriously good chefs, Alain Llorca has a wonderfully imaginative culinary mind, and he puts it to excellent use at his restaurant in the south of France, Le Moulin de Mougins, where there is bound to be something to suit all tastes. Customers can choose from three different menus - classical, contemporary and light - safe in the knowledge that the quality of the cuisine will be in no danger of being compromised. Llorca, a two-Michelin star chef, is one of the notable opening acts at this year's World Gourmet Summit, which runs until April 28, and he is dishing up some highly inventive and enjoyable cuisine this week at Dolce Vita in The Oriental hotel.



    Cube pizza: A cheeky deconstruction of a familiar dish that Alain Llorca, a two-Michelin star chef, is serving this week at Dolce Vita


    Sinfully sweet: Two desserts that are particularly tempting are a refined lemon cream financier with basil sorbet and a large chocolate ball.


    The Cannes-born Llorca, 39, has worked with the likes of Alain Ducasse and could set up practically anywhere he chooses, but he ended up staying close to his Mediterranean roots. His cuisine has evolved to a stage where - with the emphasis on quality of ingredients - he is able to cook the same ingredients in a variety of styles.

    'The most important thing is the produce - I like to play with it and present it in different ways,' says Llorca, whose menu at Dolce Vita has a definite playful and provocative quality to it. 'It is possible to see classical-style cuisine all over the world,' he says. 'Some of the dishes have a classical base, but I present it in a creative way.'

    The chef's eight-course tasting menu ($160) provides ample evidence of that creativity. A Celeriac Jelly starter came in a martini glass filled with delicate jellied vegetable, with chopped apple and walnuts and topped with a delightfully light parmesan cheese mousse. Next was a soup dish filled with tiny foie gras profiteroles, with black truffle shavings - a server then pours consomme into the dish.

    Cube pizza turned out to be a cheekily deconstructed dish, using pizza-type ingredients to come up with something entirely different - cubes of chopped tomatoes with anchovy bits on a hard biscuit, accompanied on the plate by bite-size mozzarella bits and slices of chorizo and octopus.

    The dish of poached sea bass in fish stock was clean yet complex, and dominated by the slightly bitter endive leaves covering the fish. Then came foie gras candy, a memorably fun item of pan-fried foie gras chunks wrapped in crunchy, caramelised syrup, presented atop a folded white napkin on the plate. This was followed by duck magret on a bed on spinach, accompanied by a spectacularly rich, intense coffee-flavoured sauce.

    Two desserts - a large chocolate ball which melted when hot chocolate sauce was poured over it to reveal chopped pear inside; and a refined lemon cream financier with basil sorbet - were appropriately divine.

    Llorca was also the chef at a vintner dinner last night featuring wines from Chateau Pichon Lalande. Guests dined on a six-course menu of dishes such as terrine of paella and royale of veal. His focus may be on the produce, but there's also no doubt that his cuisine deserves all the attention it gets.

    Chef Alain Llorca will be presenting his cuisine at Dolce Vita, The Oriental Singapore until April 14. For reservations, call 6338-0066

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