If you thought the Hello Kitty craze was insane, wait ‘til you’ve survived the mobs and the queueing for Hawker Heroes.
And in spite of it all, we’ve not heard a shout or an angry word from Gordon Ramsay — something that would surprise anyone who’s seen Hell’s Kitchen or any show where he’s shown his infamously fiery temper.
The Michelin-starred chef may have lost the SingTel Hawker Heroes challenge by just a six per cent difference but he’s been more than a good sport through it all.
Gordon Ramsay at the Hawker Heroes face-off in Singapore on July 7, 2013. PHOTO: RACHEL XIE
Held at Newton Circus Food Centre on July 7, 2013, SingTel Hawker Heroes challenge saw the Singapore hawker team emerge victorious, as voted by 1,000 attendees who ate their way through the three dishes.
“The laksa got my a** kicked, the chicken rice (too),” admited Gordon Ramsay, when the journos crowded over for some words with the chef. “If you want real food in Singapore, get it from the hawker stores.”
A day earlier at Katong Laksa, Ramsay had commented that “the secret here is the blend — how they get that fragrance. And they start out fresh every hour. I thought it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it would be that good!”
Ramsay did however, win the prize for the best chili crabs of the night. Ramsay’s crabs were chewy and springy, with an unexpectedly spicier tomato sauce, whereas Jumbo Seafood’s crabs had felt a bit more mushy than usual; perhaps the stress had gotten to the hawker chef this time.
Yet what surprised (and impressed) us most was how eager Gordon Ramsay was to meet and greet the fans. Even after being mobbed countless times since touching down in Singapore this week, Ramsay was still up for more up-close encounters with his very fanatic fans.
He stopped to pose for photos with admirers, shaking hands with them and even personally serving some lucky fans in the queue for the Hawker Heroes dishes.
Even when the competition was done and dusted, Ramsay was more than happy to meet fans.
Fans mob Gordon Ramsay at the Hawker Heroes Challenge
“Give me the books,” we overheard him saying, as he walked over to the barricade to sign more books for the screaming audience; much to the chagrin of the security guards.
Simply Her writer Rachel Xie grew even more starstruck after getting a photograph with him: “He stopped the security guards thrice for me. He even turned back to ask if I was happy with our photo!”
To fans of the celebrity chef, it didn’t matter so much who won tonight. Ramsay has gotten many more fans smitten, with his extraordinarily friendly and gracious celebrity behaviour.
The Hawker Heroes challenge was held at Newton Circus Food Centre on July 7, 2013. Go to www.hawkerheroes.com for more information.