Thursday, June 12, 2008

Desert Grub

One of the things in life that brings people together is food. So right in the middle of the congress here in Dubai, one of the key highlights is their cuisine hospitality. Arab cultures defines that all guests must be welcomed with big feasts with big portions and big amount of varieties. It does not matter what type of food u have on the table, it must be presented in big portions so that the host is seen as generous with plenty to go around. Well, in the five days of arabic hospitality, we did went through quite a bit and it was also a good opportunity to revisit the world of Arabic flavours dominated by Lebanese and Iranian influences. It evoked memories of time spent in Riyadh in 2000 as well as preparing those dishes that were served to Arab royalties when I was Executive Sous Chef onboard Lady Moura. As the Emirates modernise, so do the people's taste buds and they have a growing appetite for Thai, Malaysian, Indian and Mediterranean Flavours. Below are pictures of the displays and buffet lines we had during the 4 day congress.
Different kinds of starters, Arabic mezzes, hummus tahini, salads....
Main highlight of the hot dishes was the Camel Meat Briyani which the hump was used as the center piece.
The fantastic cheese selection of imported and local Arabic cheeses....

Desserts were a mass orgy of everything from all cultures....from mousses to jellies, cakes and the ultimate muhallahbia....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Desert Adventures

Well, the dust has finally settled for me since coming back from Dubai. After clearing all the backlog and recovering from a bout of severe food poisoning, I am ready to blog once again on sharing what we went through in Dubai.
Though Team Singapore did not win the WACS Presidium, nonetheless we did won much respect and a name for ourselves from the 86 other countries who saw our close fight in the the pitch against the team from Iceland. For me, the experience of wearing national colours once again in such a international prestige event has been a learning experience on public speaking, handling of media and building up new network of friendships with chefs from around the world.
Some of the main highlights on the Congress:
Congress Opening Day 1

(With Elvin, Singapore Junior Chefs Club) (Congress Main Dinning Hall)

(Arabic welcome with rotan, chanting and drums) (SG/Msian Chefs, Peter,Me, Audee and Yen (SG))

(Our Mongolian friends in WACS for the first time!) (Outgoing President F. Metz delivers his last address)

(Team Singapore making our Presidium Bid ppt.) (86 countries in attendance)
Congress Day 2:
Countries Pitching to be the host for WACS congress 2012: India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Portugal

(S Korean team with Da Chang Jin as part of their pitch) (India Delegation making presentation)

(Anxiety before results) (South Korea wins the bid to be host for 2012)
(I was tasked to lead the congress in observing a moment of silence in respect to victims of the China Sichuan Earthquake)
Congress Day 3: We lost the bid to Iceland

(Chef Eric Teo having a light moment with our Junior Chefs) (One of the best souvenir pictures)

Chefs Anderson Ho and Tiffany Yeo representing Singapore for the Global Chefs Challenge, we pulled in the best media prize for this event!!

(On behalf of the Chinese Cuisne Association/Shanghai Chapter, I delivered their message of thanks to the Congress members with regards to their care,concern and immediate action following the Sichuan earthquake disaster.)

Coming up next.... all the desert grub we had for the 5 days!