CHIJMES world gourmet summit

Photo: Chijmes/Facebook

If you’re a foodie, the annual World Gourmet Summit (WGS) is an event you have to get on. Back for their 23rd run, the organisers, who tout the event as “Asia’s premier haute cuisine festival”, promise a month-and-a-half long extravaganza of epicurean delights, not to mention a celebration of cuisines and talents from around the world. Expect a line-up of culinary stars, masterclasses, wine tasting sessions, dining events and special menus at various restaurants.

Happening around Singapore at various locations from April 1 to May 12, here’s what you can expect from this year’s festivities.


1. Sustainability is this year’s theme

world gourmet summit

Photo: World Gourmet Summit/Facebook

Under the expansive theme of “Sustainability in the Gastronomy World”, this year’s edition of the WGS places focus on issues surrounding the creation of a sustainable future for food.

Founder of the festival Peter Knipp, shared in a press release that “the movement for sustainability has witnessed growing efforts, from water conservation and greater adoption of recycled and recyclable products, to minimising consumption of single-use plastics in our daily lives. The culinary world is no exception and this calls for action”.

Food, he adds, should not impede sustainability. “Instead, it should contribute towards sustainable development by placing sustainable culinary ethics at the forefront.”

Not just talk, WGS is bringing to bear these concepts by starting a three-year-long sustainability initiative that is aimed at encouraging the food industry to examine their practices and adopt greener alternatives.

One such method is their partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC is a non-profit organisation that sets standards for sustainable fishing and ensures that its partners abide by them to safeguard the continued longevity of marine life in our water bodies. Partnering food and beverage establishments in this year’s WGS are encouraged to procure their seafood from MSC.

WGS also hopes to educate the industry and the general public on sustainable practices such as food sourcing, energy saving and food waste management through their forum that will be held on April 2 (read on for more details).


2. A celebration of female talent

Paralleling the rise of social movements that champion female empowerment, the WGS has created three new awards specifically to highlight talented females chefs in Singapore. These awards are the Fabristeel Junior Chef of the Year, the Welbilt Rising Chef of the Year and the Chef of the Year. Nominees for the latter include Toh Li Si, the chef de cuisine of Bam! Tapas Sake Bar and Petrina Loh, chef-owner of Morsels. We applaud the summit’s efforts to celebrate notable women in a field that remains largely male-dominated, although we did observe that the unisex categories still seem to be lacking in female representation.

Another award added to the roster this year is the U.S. Dairy Export Council Innovative Chef, and we hear that there might be a surprise award meted out as well, to recognise the efforts of a particular individual or an organisation in the industry for their efforts in promoting and practising sustainability. The evaluation process of these awards are a combination of public vote and judgement by industry professionals and leaders. The winners will be crowned at the World Gourmet Awards 2019 on April 22 at One Farrer Hotel.


3. Sample local produce

CHIJMES world gourmet summit

Photo: Chijmes/Facebook

The Gastro-Market Place, which is returning for its third year, is the best place for you to get insight into what our local farmers and growers are doing, as well as to sample some delicious local produce and shop from homegrown brands which will be showcasing their culinary products and ingredients.

Not only will it make for a satisfying meal, it’s all for a good cause too: Twenty per cent of entry ticket sales will be donated to the Singapore Children’s Society, which has been chosen as this year’s charitable beneficiary. In line with the sustainable theme, the event will adopt cashless payment and tickets cost $10 each via WGS website and will be sent to your email. The event will be held on April 23 from 6pm to 10pm at Chjimes Lawn, 30 Victoria Street.


4. Enjoy limited edition celebratory menus

In partnership with WGS, 34 restaurants across the island have curated a limited edition menu (either set or à la carte) that will only be available from April 1 to 14. Indulge in a unique gastronomic experience by dining at these establishments which vary across cuisines. They include names such as Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House at Sentosa, Mitzo Restaurant & Bar at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Open Farm Community, Punjab Grill and Tien Court Restaurant at Copthorne King’s Hotel. Visit this page for the full list of partner restaurants and to make reservations.


5. Savour creations by overseas chefs 


#plating #cook #kitchen #work #alacarte

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If you’ve eaten your way through the various celebratory menus created by local restaurants, take the next step and attend the WGS Masterchef Dining Delights, where you get a taste of international creations that are made by chefs from across Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and North and South America. You can expect exotic, hard-to-find fare such as Romanian food, presented by chef Adi Hadean from Romania, who was a former judge on the country’s edition of MasterChef, Polish food, presented by chef Jaroslaw Uscinski, vice-president of the Polish Kitchen & Pastry Chef’s Association (OSSKiC), Hungarian food presented by Soma Oroszki who is head chef of Enjoy! by La Parrilla in Budapest, and Argentinian food from Martin Rebaudino, who is executive chef of Roux in Buenos Aires. Dining Delights will occur between April 24 and 27, and the chefs will be cooking at partnering hosting establishments such as ANDAZ Singapore, Forlino and SKAI at Swissôtel the Stamford. Head to this page for the full listing and reservations. Bon appétit!


6. End the celebrations with a buffet


The countdown to Happy Hour begins. See you at the Chandelier Bar in 60 mins

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If you don’t have the time to make your way around the various F&B partners to sample their celebratory menus, you still have a chance to savour their creations — at Gastro-Brunch, an all-you-can-eat brunch held at the Tamarind Hill that will see a host of different cuisines by local chefs all in one spot on April 28 from 11am to 3pm. Perched atop the Labrador Nature Reserve, the picturesque colonial bungalow will set the stage for the closing scene of the Dining Delights event. Tickets cost $128+ via WGS and reservations open late March.


7. Participate in one-day-only themed activities

Besides the celebratory menus, there will also be one-off dining programs scheduled from April 29 to May 12. These activities will only be available for one day and can be entertaining, educational or just pure fun. Events include a Thai street food festival at Tamarind Hill, a sake masterclass at Arbora and whisky tasting at Punjab Grill. Check this page for the full list of partner restaurants and to make reservations.


8. Get served by the Argentinian ambassador

How often in our lifetime can we savour a dish created by a country’s ambassador? At the WGS you can, as Federico Alejandro Barttfeld, the Ambassador of Argentina, will be partnering with Martin Rebaudino (pictured above) for a one-night only demonstration. Find out what dish Barttfeld will be presenting at SKAI at Swissôtel the Stamford on April 24. Reservations open late March and cost $228+ per pax via WGS.


9. Get educated on food and sustainability issues

In line with its theme, WGS is holding its first-ever WGS Sustainability Forum, which will bring together a panel of industry experts to discuss topics relating to food sustainability, such as ethical and responsible sourcing and the critical role that each stakeholder has to play to build a sustainable future. While the forum, which will be held at the SIM Management House on April 2 from 3pm to 5pm, is open to invited guests only, you can refer to WGS’ Facebook page for updates as they are in the midst of getting approval to stream the event live on the social media site.