The World Gourmet Summit is back with its 22nd year of gastronomic celebrations from 2 to 29 April 2018! To kick off the month-long event, the 18th edition of the Awards of Excellence was held on 3 April 2018 to give recognition to and honour more than 30 exceptional F&B talents in Singapore and around the region.
The evening was graced by notable names in the industry including Chef Violet Oon (of Violet Oon), Chef Edmund Toh (President of Singapore Chefs’ Association, Chef Bjorn Shen (of Artichoke), Gerald Lu (sommelier at Praelum Wine Bistro), Chef Louis Tay (of Swissotel Merchant Court), Chef Malcolm Lee (of Candlenut) and Andrew Burns (of DB Bistro & Oyster Bar).
Opening with a solid speech was the organiser of the World Gourmet Summit, Peter Knipp, who shared with the audience his heartfelt sentiments about how he feels the F&B industry needs to grow — not just to survive, but to thrive.
He also acknowledged how the young talents in the kitchen are constantly innovating and showing remarkable skills that not only highlight the diversity, but also the potential for a bright future in the culinary world. He regarded every nominee that evening as a winner in his eyes, and wished everyone a enjoyable evening before the award ceremony proceeded.
Starting off with the Service Professionals & Establishment Awards, the first award was for Asian Cuisine Restaurant of The Year. The nominees were Baba Chews and Eatery, Blue Lotus – Chinese Grill House, Candlenut, Punjab Grill, Shang Palace, Tamarind Hill and Waku Ghin. The winner announced was Punjab Grill.
The Asian Cuisine Restaurant of the Year (Regional) award went to Tamarind Springs by Samadhi (Malaysia), with fellow nominees Bo.Lan (Thailand), Kayuputi Restaurant (Indonesia), Lung King Heen (Hong Kong) and Ronin (Hong Kong).
One of the most anticipated awards in this category was the Bar Manager of the Year award.
Nominees included Alessandro Rosà (Bob’s Bar, Capella Hotel), Daisuke Kawai (La Terre), Diaz Lim (Martini Bar & Party Room at Mezza9, Grand Hyatt), Joe Schofield (Tippling Club) and Zainudin Hassan (CÉ LA VI). Received by a roaring applause, Daisuke Kawai took home the award.
The next award, Bar of the Year, was snagged by La Terre, which meant another win for the night for Daisuke.
Wondering which new establishment won New Restaurant of the Year? It was quite the surprise win as Bakalaki Greek Taverna edged out its competitors to earn the accolade.
Another highly-anticipated award, Restaurant of the Year, saw ALATI, Burnt Ends, Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Odette and Salted & Hung vying for the prize.
Ultimately, Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare went home with the title, with Chef Lino Sauro receiving the coveted award for the restaurant.
The Restaurant of the Year (Regional) award went to Mozaic (Indonesia), which is quite a satisfying win considering how renowned it is in Bali for its exceptional dining.
The title of Restaurant Manager of the Year was awarded to Ramesh G. Somani (Punjab Grill), while Restaurateur of the Year award recognised Ricky Ng (Blue Lotus) as its recipient.
Moving on to the Wine & Spirits Awards, the first title to be mentioned was the Old World Wine List of the Year. The nominees included Dolce Vita, Iggy’s, La Terre, Le Bistrot Du Sommelier, Odette and Raffles Grill, with La Terre swooping in for its third win of the evening.
On the flipside, the New World Wine List of the Year award was handed out to The White Rabbit.
The Sommelier of the Year award saw familiar names aiming for the prize.
The nominees included Alvin Gho (Wine RVLT), Britt Ng (Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore), Gary Low (JAAN), Gerald Lu (Praelum Wine Bistro), Joel Lim (ME@OUE) and Mohd Yazid (One Faber Group). Alvin Gho was announced as the recipient of the award, but unfortunately wasn’t present to receive it personally.
In the Chefs Awards category, the Pastry Chef of the Year award went to Winnie Goh (Mandarin Orchard, Singapore), while the Pastry Chef of the Year (Regional) title was awarded to Florian Guillemenot (Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
The Rising Chef of the Year award is significant in that it recognises the hard work and immense talent that an up-and-coming chef has displayed, and this title is one that truly distinguishes the ordinary from the extraordinary. The title went to Chef Andrea De Paola (Osteria Art).
The Baker of the Year title went to Chef Leonard Yue (Swissotel The Stamford), while Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year was awarded to Chef Joseph Sergentakis (CÉ LA VI).
The coveted award for Chef of the Year went to Chef Angus Chow (Boruto), who edged out Chef Bjorn Shen (Artichoke), Chef Dave Pynt (Burnt Ends), Chef Felix Chong (Monti), Chef Kirk Westaway (JAAN) and Chef Lino Sauro (Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare) to take home the win.
Meanwhile, Chef Louis Tay (Swissotel Merchant Court) walked away with the award for Executive Chef of the Year.
The Chefs’ Choice award is handed to an individual whose cuisine is widely recognised and recommended by his or her peers. For the win, Chef Kirk Westaway (JAAN) came out tops.
It was coming to the tail-end of the award ceremony, and it was then that the Special Category awards were announced.
The LUZERNE Special Recognition award was handed to Chef Damian D’Silva (Executive Chef, Folklore), while Robert Stirrup was mentioned as the recipient of Hospitality Star as Director of Culinary at Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford.
Before the evening ceremony came to a close, two Lifetime Achievement awards were given out. One to Chef Violet Oon (Violet Oon) and another to Chef Edmund Toh (President of Singapore Chefs’ Association), to honour them for their unrelenting dedication to and passion for their culinary work, as well as the wealth of knowledge they have imparted to their peers over the years.
Another name was added to the Hall of Fame 2018, with Salt Grill & Sky Bar having won the New World Wine List title three times, namely in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The evening rounded out with a reception that saw the World Gourmet Summit partners serving small bites to guests, as a taste of what to expect during the World Gourmet Summit period that will go on throughout April 2018.
With so many gourmand events to look forward to this month, it’ll be wise to keep a lookout for your favourite and get your tickets fast!
Dates: Various events taking place from 2 – 29 April 2018