So, we finally experienced the highly-anticipated Epicurean Market by Marina Bay Sands, and it was amazing. Such good fun!
Eventhough this was the second year returning, and we had never experienced the first one, we could certainly say that the show was a rocking success with an incredible turn out. More than 65 brands of gourmet products were featured at the event and thirty-five master classes were conducted in total.
It spanned 3 days (12-14 Sept), and this food and wine extravaganza, did all the right things to entice the palates of foodies in Singapore, as well as those coming from abroad.
Signature dishes were whipped up by celebrity chefs such as Tetsuya Wakuda, Nancy Silverton and Justin Quek, and fresh produce could be found scattered around and sold at the Fresh Food market. Wine connoisseurs had an amazing time sampling a wide array of fine and unique wines from around the globe.
This year’s indoor picnic theme could be felt the minute you entered the hall – there was a cute feature wall for folks to take photos at. Walking around we notice the incredibly enthusiastic participation by celebrity chefs as well as wine distributors and food suppliers.
Guests then got to savor exquisite dishes and fine wines from over 50 restaurants, wineries and leading brands. Many opted for the Masterclasses, to expand their culinary knowledge and learn first hand from the gurus of fine dining, wines and cuisine themselves.
And for those who love catching their favourite celebrity chefs up close and personal and in action, they were not disappointed. Chefs such as Tetsuya Wakuda (Waku Ghin), David Thompson (Long Chim), Justin Quek (Sky on 57), Mozza’s Nancy Silverton, and David Myers, were all around to meet and greet the happy guests to Epicurean Market. They really put on a show for us behind their stations, and answered all pressing questions with great charisma and aplomb. The premium food and signature dishes were spectacularly plated as individual portions, and some of these were simple yet tasted exquisite.
Chef Christopher Christie (Executive Chef at Marina Bay Sands), oversees the entire 400-strong culinary team at MBS. In an ordinary day, Chef Christie and his team prepare an average of 20,000 meals per day!
Justin Quek (Sky on 57), famous for his creative interpretations of French cuisine at Les Amis, which he founded and currently chef de cuisine at Sky on 57.
Loved his salmon dish as well as his signature Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao – exquisitely fine and delicious! Loved how JQ infused this famous Asian dumpling with the silky smooth texture of goose liver.
And this cool lady with the funky shades is the powerhouse behind Osteria Mozza. Nancy Silverton with partners Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich, are the co-owner of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. Her Aglio Olio Pizza is to die for. Something so simple, as dough, cheese and garlic can really hit the spot when made with the finest, freshest ingredients.
David Myers – a well-travelled chef and restaurateur with a career spanning nearly two decades and three continents! His cuisine features fresh produce and charcoal-grilled delights in small plates, blending the best flavours of Asia and California – very impressed with his food!
Priced at $23 per person for a three-day pass, the Epicurean Market was such value for money, as participants even received a goodie bag that came with a pair of premium wine glasses by Schott Zwiesel. The ticket was a pass to complimentary access to master classes by chefs and bakers, food and drink demonstrations by sommeliers, wine producers, mixologists and various industry experts.
Loads of great food on offer, for example a 3 year aged Iberico – found this sexy leg, totally irresistible!
More please !
And let the eat-fest begin! Food for as far as the eye could see..
At DB (Daniel Boulud) a large Charcuterie Board was a must have with multi-coloured strips of assorted cold cuts on offer. Also there were mix reviews on DB’s New York hotdog – some found it good while others said it missed the mark. Whatever it was, the queue for it was massive!
Loads of opportunity for gourmet food shopping as well
Loved the gourmet cheese section – sampling went on all day
smoothest gorgonzola I ever tried! Went great with a dollop of honey
My favourite vegetable.. kale
Got juice? Chef Tim Ross works the Kale so well;)
Some Master Class & Celebrity Chef Highlights..
One big highlight for me, was the Masterclass on the first day, by Tetsuya. He demonstrated very simply, how to make a classic dish, the Cheviche, with great class and finesse. He also talked about cooking from the heart and how it makes all the difference.
Chef Tetsuya Wakuda himself grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu. At the age of 22, with only a very limited grasp of English, his adventurous spirit led him to Australia. In 1982, Chef Tetsuya arrived in Sydney, with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food.
From his humble beginnings as a kitchen-hand, it did not take Chef Tetsuya long to discover he had a flair for cooking.
In 1989, he opened his first restaurant, Tetsuya’s, in a tiny shop-front in Sydney. The popular restaurant flourished and Chef Tetsuya’s reputation grew. He then ventured into Singapore in 2010 and has won critical acclaim for Waku Ghin since then.
Tetsuya’s super delicious Ceviche!
We were also particularly impressed by Chef David Myers’ dishes. You could tell that his food reflected his travels across the globe. It had a lovely contemporary feel and flavour about it -simple yet exquisite, we loved it!
Myers himself has won several awards, including a Michelin Star for his first restaurant (Sona) at Los Angeles in 2007, Chef of the Year (Angeleno 2004) and Best New Chef (Food and Wine 2003). Myers will be opening a restaurant at Marina Bay Sands in 2015. The new restaurant will be backed by a strong cocktail programme. The bar will showcase a cocktail culture that fuses the best of the east and west with fresh ingredients.
We loved David Myer’s Green Papaya and Coconut Shooter (left) – it was thick, custardy (from the coconut puree), with explosive basil & curry leaf flavours, garnished with sago pearls and a slice of green papaya on top. Super delicious! Massive prawns that again had elements of Asian herbs and seasoning were incredibly addictive too. The Prawns, Passionfruit & Salted Plum Creme Fraiche was memorable for its crunchy passionfruit seeds matched the unbelievably plump prawns.
David also served a Caramel-sweet Soy Popcorn, that was pretty ingenious and went down well with the public. The soy’s salty, savoriness was great, and the popcorn had elements of spiciness in it too. David Myers was hands down, our favourite booth that day.
We also had an amazing time learning the art of cocktail tasting and setting up a personalized home bar in style with two award-winning head bartenders, Joe Alessandroni and Zdenek Kastanek from Proof & Company Spirits. Through these two master classes, we will learn how to assess the balance, flavour, ingredients and overall quality of cocktails, as well as learning how to build a home bar by selecting spirits, bar tools and other necessities.
We learned how to construct the perfect cocktail, and there were three – the SouthSide, Manhattan and Pina Colada
The grand finale for us was the master classes in which a mystery box cook-off between executive chefs Jonathan Kinsella (db Bistro Moderne) and David Almany (Osteria Mozza) would unfold, as they challenge each other to prepare a dish using ingredients from a mystery box in an hour or less.
The interaction and chemistry between these two “rival” chefs was really entertaining, with quickwitted Jonathan cracking all the jokes, and David being deadpan sarcastic, cool and collected. It was a great show, and these two Chefs really knew how to perform and wow the crowd. In the end, Jonathan Kinsella of db Bistro Moderne won the challenge, much to the delight of the crowd.
Then, there was more walking around and sampling of all the fine offerings of the various exhibitors at the Epicurean Market.. yes definitely a great weekend of eating and drinking and rubbing shoulders with culinary genius.
Really look up to some of these Chefs, I tell you!
The crowd moves in on the food – the eating does not stop for 3 days and 3 nights!
Cheers! Wine tasting.. my favourite activity, with the opportunity to buy many excellent wines. We came home with 2 great bottles, one Spanish, and the other Italian
It was a bad case of.. “so many bottles, so little time!”
A larger than life bottle of wine.. any takers?
Modern Asian Mixology with Knut Randhem of Ku De Ta was super fun – he even got us up on stage to help him mix the cocktails!
Notice that “cocktail glow” about us:P
One of the more enjoyable sessions on The Diversity of Italian Wines, by Giovanni Oliva – Wines from the Alps to Sicily were covered comprehensively in this session
A rather enlightening session on Sustainable Birds Nest Soup & Desserts – the idea was to help make the process more efficient for the swallows to make the birds nests.
Well, the Epicurean Market was an amazingly well planned event. We would most certainly support the next one, should they have one, and we look forward to more spectacular foodie events in the same vein, in Singapore!
Epicurean Market was held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2, Hall D & E from 12-14 September 2014. Don’t forget to catch the next one in 2015 because if 2014 is anything to go by, we are sure it will be worth your time!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
Please show us some FB LOVE, thank you! Thank you Singapore Tourism Board (STB), & Marina Bay Sands for the invite to attend the Epicurean Market.