I felt that the entries for the “Plated Desserts” category from the FHA Culinary Challenge during Food & Hotel Asia 2012 are of reasonably high calibre this year. GIven that many of these were from students from culinary schools and institutions all over Asia, quite a number of them are of restaurant quality with hardly any visual glitch or flaw to pick on. Having said that, I didn’t get a chance to taste any of these, so comments would be highly biased as I’m judging the entries literally by their “cover”. Or would they be coverups intead? *evil grin* Some are very avante garde and moderne while others clearly displayed a good foundation in classical techniques. Here I share with you a fraction of entries which I personally feel are a cut above the others. I shall leave it to you to decide which is your favorite. I’ll tell you mine if you would tell me yours. 🙂
Shooting this series of photographs is a love and hate relationship. Absolutely elated to be able to come face to face with these plates of delectables but the pain sets in when you can’t taste them. These are some of the entries for the “Hot and Cold Appetiser” category for the FHA Culinary Challenge, held in conjunction with Food & Hotel Asia 2012 just last week at the Singapore EXPO. The four-day event was well-attended by members of the trade as well as chefs from all over the world. I think the standards of the Culinary Challenge is very high, with participation from chefs from all over Asia as well as representatives from the major culinary institutions from the region. Here’s a really small selection of the pieces which I felt are really outstanding in terms of presentation. I can’t comment on their taste and unami-ness but some of them really scored in their visual appeal.
And thankfully, I was sufficiently sound to note the composition of most of the pieces, in hope that some of these presentations could be replicated in our own very kitchens. Be inspired.
Apart from the Asian Pastry Cup, the Food & Hotel Asia 2012 also played host to a series of culinary events like the Imperial Challenge, an international Chinese banquet culinary competition highlighting the finest of Chinese cuisine where top chefs specialising in chinese cuisine pit their skills against each other. There’s also the FHA Barista Challenge which aims at advancing the barista profession. And there’s FHA Culinary Challenge which has several categories – Dress the Cake, Free-style Wedding Cake, Petit Fours and Pralines, Plated Desserts, Plated Hot and Cold Appetisers as well as Chocolate and Sugar showpieces. All the competitions were going on concurrently so there’s no way one’s able to attend all these altogether. The FHA Culinary Challenge is held in the same hall as the Asian Pastry Cup so it seemed the most logical for me to swing over for a look. And I’m so glad that I did! Many many inspiring creations which one can analyse and admire up close, literally just inches from the competition pieces. Jamming my lens into them as I shot away, I could literally smell the aroma of all that chocolate and fruit, raging those salivary glands, on the brink of an outburst. Alas its can see, can smell but cannot touch. So near but yet so far, life can be such a bitch!
There’s very description on the pieces as I did not take photos of the tags that came with them. But do enjoy their designs, some of which are the most intricate that I’d seen so far. Hopefully you would be inspired by them as I have. 🙂
Day 2 at the Asian Pastry Cup saw another 5 teams competing, starting from 6.45am in the morning. Surely the teams would have reached the kitchens even before that to make sure that they are able to seize and squeeze every second on the clock to churn out plated desserts, chocolate cakes, and finally, sugar and chocolate showpieces all in quick successions of one item from the other. The pacing was intense as every patissier in those 5 kitchens worked under immense pressure to race against time. It is not just a competition against one another, but really to pit against oneself, to testify their own individual level of creativity, pastry technique, capabilities in planning, together with a myriad of kitchen skills, and mostly important, ability to shine as an outstanding patissier. Read on to see if twhich team has what it takes to win the much-coveted Asian Pastry Cup 2012.
One of the main highlights of Food & Hotels Asia 2012 is the Asian Pastry Cup. The most prestigious event for pastry professionals, APC allows young patissiers from all over Asia to contest one another in terms of skills, technique and creativity for the top prize. The top three prize winners automatically qualify themselves for a place to compete in the uber prestigious “Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2013″ aka Pastry World Cup, traditionally held in Lyon, which en masse the best patissiers from all around the world. And by winning the Coupe du Monde, one basically get elevated to join the heights of the “pastry gods”. Easier said than done, as it is a competition with a lot of sweat and tears, as the teams battle against each other over long and gruelling hours to produce the best chocolate cake, best plated dessert, best sugar showpiece, best chocolate showpiece,…and finally the top prize!
In short, intensément!!!
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 is one of the biggest F&B and hospitality related trade shows cum exhibitions in the world. It is most certainly the largest in all Asia. This year, Singapore plays host to the mega event, utilising all the exhibition halls at Singapore EXPO. The scale of the event can be summarised in one word, MASSIVE!!! From machinery and tools for food processing, food storage, down to cutlery and crockery for meal service and presentation, with a wide selection of premium ingredients, like flour and butter, down to wines and spirits, a good display of fabric-related ware from hotel quality bedding to napkins and even chef’s wear and service staff uniforms, to a range of bathroom toiletries, FHA2012 aims to provide an all-encompassing experience, as well as to cater to the needs and wants from all aspects of these industries.
The trade show opened yesterday with incredibly long queues at both Halls 1 and 7, where trade visitors registered and were ushered into the exhibition halls, waiting to be enthralled and overwhelmed by the sheer scale and detail of the event. It most certainly overwhelmed me! Literally flabbergasted. 5+ hours of walking, shopping, browsing, buying, sampling, eating and chatting… I’d covered barely half of the halls. So here’s a flood of photos I’d taken from the event so far. It doesn’t cover everything in the event, basically those aspect which I’m interested in, e.g. cooking, baking and pastry-making. So you would find lots of cakes, lots of ice-cream, lots of pastries, etc. Forgive me as the photos would not be of much artistic merit, since they were snapped in haste and most of the time, balancing the camera with one hand and a cup of gelato, or a freshly baked bun in the other. In fact, I can’t even find a decently appropriate photo for the introduction! But it gives you an idea of the scale and nature of event. Enjoy 🙂