I will always remember my dining experience during the preview of the Great Dinners of The World.
That marked my first encounter with the jovial quartet of Chef Sho, Chef Malcolm, Chef Johnny Fua and Chef Sherson Lian.
Since then I have been a fan of his food, but I never thought he was going to be a TV star!
2 weeks back I got to meet up with the 4 chefs again when AFC & Pernod Ricard threw an appreciation dinner for the winners of AFC Facebook contest.
The dinner featured one specially created dish from each chef, a fitting reward for the winners of the Great Dinners online competition, which was held during the run of the series.
Tanzini at GTower was brimming with excited fans that night. Emcee Angie was her usual self, sharp yet high spirited.
Throughout the night there were trivia questions which were easy to those who are ardent followers of the show.
Each winner walked away with a goody bag thanks to Pernod Ricard; while GH MUM champagne, Chivas, Martell Cognacs and The Glenlivet whiskies filled our glasses generously that night.
Appetizer: Chef Johnny
No, Chef Johnny wasn’t the appetizer. Just his creation.
Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”. House Prickled Ginger, Lemon-grass Calamansi Granita, Candied Hojiso, Horseradish.
You know they say about appetizers. An impressive one will give any meal a memorable start. This was exactly it.
It’s hard to fault fish as fresh as this and being Asian, I inwardly approved of the cleverly infused asian ingredients such as lemongrass and calamansi.
Soup: Chef Sherson.
If BLT is Bacon Lettuce and Tomato to you, you’re absolutely right. But in the free imagination of an unorthodox chef, a non-conforming dish was borned.
This SOUP has bacon (well, not quite but close, there’s a streak of BACON JAM), lettuce (in the form of a spongy bread!) and tomato; a the form of puree so fresh it was absolutely bleeding with flavour.
Sherson explained that he substituted bacon for ox tongue to give diners a hint of “scottish flavour”; specifically haggis, which is popular in Scotland; where most part of Great Dinners of The World was filmed.
Below: The ‘lettuce”, and the bacon marmalade.
Intermezzo: A lovely sweet Kiwi sorbet; with very well balanced sourness.
Main course: Chef Sho
Fondant Chicken. Stuffed with foie gras, Nage Pernod Ricard Clams, Minute Fricassee of Chick pea and Eringue, Crisp from The Sea.
The main was amazing and this was attested by everyone else at the table. All ingredients came perfectly and our tastebuds enjoyed the harmonious flavours of each component on the plate. The chicken was kept simple, with most of the lusciousness contributed from the foie gras.
But the clams did seemed out of place to me.
Anyhow, a quick research explained “Nage”, which is an aromatic broth in which crustaceans are cooked. The shellfish is then served with this broth. Thus, here Chef Sho has cleverly somewhat infused Pernod Ricard’s range of alcohol into this dish.
Another favourite on the plate was the seaweed. Everyone munched on it enthusiastically as it was crackly crispy with a very good flavour. Chef Sho generously shared a tip; the seaweed is deep fried at low temperature about 100-120C, then quickly at 180C before lightly sprinkled with seasalt.
Dessert: Chef Malcolm.
White Chocolate Cremeux. Fried Sabayon, Litchi Glass, Wild Berry Coulis, “Malcolm G” Fleur de Sel.
This is the Fried Sabayon. Sabayon is a light custard, of Italian origination, made from egg yolks, sugar and wine.
The main dessert has a texture alike panna cotta, albeit firmer.
This is the fresh Wild Berries Coulis. I wondered which was the Litchi Glass, but Malcolm was surrounded by fans that night I didn’t manage to interview him about his creation.
Amazing food and marvellous company, what a Friday night I had!
Thanks again to Eric for the invite, and Pernod Ricard as well as AFC for the opportunity to be part of this dinner.
As expected, the 4 chefs provided spontaneous entertainment throughout the night. Here’s 2 clips of them singing; imprompto and in such good sport really!
ABOUT GREAT DINNERS OF THE WORLD
1. Great Dinners Of The World is a unique 6x30min series that exclusively premiered on the Asian Food Channel, Tuesday, 13 December 2011 at 10pm. REPEATS starts this 17th May 2012, Thursday at 9pm.
2. This AFC original production depicts the journey of four talented Asian chefs who are plucked from Singapore and Malaysia’s diverse culinary scene and thrown out of their comfort zones. They travel to Scotland and France to the homes of Chivas whisky, The Glenlivet, GH MUMM Champagne and Martell cognacs, with the goal of bringing the flavours of Asia to their European dinner guests. The team of chefs cooks for the rich and famous, while pairing their signature dishes with the finest cognac from the House of Martell from the distilleries of Chivas and The Glenlivet whiskies and the vineyards of GH MUM champagne.
The team at Tanzini and The Upper Deck. Chef Johnny Fua and Chef Alven.
Like I said before, instant chemistry and genuine comradeship is what makes this team and the show Great Dinners of The World original and worth watching. I say before and I’ll say it again; these 4 are your perfect quartet for riots & your best stress relievers!