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East Meets West as 5-star chef trades places with hawker for a day

English Chef de Cuisine Grant Kells found himself a long way from the luxurious surroundings of the Raffles Hotel today, serving traditional Hainanese chicken riceballs to local Hokkien-speaking customers in a Jalan Besar coffee shop.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hoo Soo Ten, the 50-year old owner/operator of Good Year Hainanese Chicken Riceball, was esconced in the stately kitchen of Raffles Hotel preparing Rack of Lamb, rosemary jus served with Gratin Dauphinoise, prepared in French style.

Both men, culinary virtuosos in their own right, traded places for a day to highlight the upcoming Food Fiesta 2004.

For Chef de Cuisine Kells it was back to basics, rolling steaming hot clumps of short-grained rice into tennis-sized balls in a non-airconditioned hawker environment. “It sure is hot!” he grinned, dressed in his immaculate chef whites and chef’s hat.

Mr. Kells learned how to fill a rice pot with chicken stock, ginger slices and pandan leaves, flavouring it with a pinch of salt and the stall’s secret “family” incredient. Said Chef Kells, “Apparently, in the old days, this rolling of the rice into palm-sized balls made it easier to wrap in banana leaves for carrying around”.

Mr. Hoo, meanwhile, learned the delicate art of preparing Rack of Lamb, rosemary jus served with Gratin Dauphinoise (potatoes gratin), a far cry from Singaporean hawker fare in a coffee shop. “He’s done well, this is not an easy dish to get right,” said Chef Kells.

Food Fiesta 2004 (30 July-1 August 2004, Suntec Singapore), organised under the auspices of the Singapore Food Festival, provides local and international vendors with the platform to showcase their products and related services.

The show will bring together the inspiring wonders of cuisines, sauces and condiments under one roof, which reflects the theme "A Feast of East to West".

A delectable selection of local and international food and drink manufacturers, suppliers and restaurants will have the opportunity to satisfy thousands of food and drink lovers.

Exhibitors will cover the full range of foods and beverages from bakers, convenience foods, desserts, frozen foods, health foods, packed foods, ready-to-eat foods and speciality foods and beverages.

Thematic Pavilions presented in a unique, stylish floor layout will guarantee a feast for the senses: Local highlights, Singapura Kitchen, Glorious Sip, Savouring Asia, America's Zest, A Taste of Europe, Healthy Indulgence and Sauces and Condiments. Visitors to Food Fiesta 2004 will be entertained by cooking demonstrations, competitions, live entertainment and fun interactive games, often involving the exhibitors themselves.

Singapura Kitchen will feature a dedicated area for Singapore’s best local cooked foods. Food Fiesta will be the place where one can find the classic local restaurant and hawker foods that are increasingly difficult to find.

Singapura Kitchen, a dedicated area for Singapore’s best local cooked foods to vanishing street hawker fare will offer traditional Chicken Rice Ball (by Good Year Local Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball), pioneering Fried Prawn Fritters (Zhong Zhong Five Spice Supply Pte Ltd), ‘Padang’ Satay, ‘Fat Men’ Satay by (D' Original Satay Club), authentic Nonya Laksa (by Marine Parade Laksa), just to name a few.

Last year’s Food Fiesta 2003 was the first international food and beverage event organised by Suntec Singapore. The event featured a wide variety of well-known brands and styles of cuisine. Food Fiesta 2003 drew 35,000 visitors over the course of 3 days.

Gluttons Square returns to Orchard Road Carpark from 1 - 31 Jul 2004

11th Singapore Food Festival

Food Fiesta Fair

Content Contributor: Chaplin Public Relations


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3 July 2004