Savour 2013 Singapore – Gourmet Village, Gourmet Market, Gourmet Auditorium

If you have been following me on Twitter, FB or my FB Page, you would have been spammed (sorry! :P) with updates and pictures of my activities at Savour 2013 in Singapore few days back.

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For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed trade shows, fairs, markets and such gourmet events. Needless to say, I found Savour 2013 fabulous and I certainly ate too much for my own good over the 3 days I was there!
On the surface it was a food-centric event but for me I thought Savour 2013 accomplished much more than that. For 4 days (11th – 14th April 2013), the event bought together both the makers of fabulous cuisine (the chefs) and the eaters (the diners/foodies) in a one place at one time.

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I can’t think of any other event that provides the opportunity for one to taste signature dishes from some of the world’s top ranked restaurants by renowned chefs in prices below SGD20 per dish and all in one place.
It’s just so convenient for both the appetite and the wallet!

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More on the individual food pavilion and participating restaurants would be in another post since I sampled quite a few and would like to go into details of each dish. This post would be covering more on Savour 2013 in general.

For those of you who are not familiar with Savour, it is being held for the 2nd year in Singapore and based on the crowd turnout, Savour looks set to be an annual event for Singapore.
So if you missed out this year, read on and prepare your pockets and appetite for Savour 2014!

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I’m already in huge anticipation for Savour 2014. But for first timers; how was Savour 2013 like?

Based on my experience this year, the 3 main areas of Savour are:

1. Gourmet Village – this is where the food pavilions of all the participating restaurants and chefs are located  The best part of this area other than the fabulous food whipped up at each kitchen? The opportunity to speak and meet the chef/chefs of each restaurant!

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Chef Julien Royer could be seen at his kitchen (Jaan) almost the entire time. In fact you might not even get so close and personal with the chefs if you’re dining at their restaurant.
Here at Savour they are at their kitchens and they hung around the Gourmet Village. Most of them are friendly and would oblige for questions or pictures. More often than note, they would came out from their kitchens to chit-chat with the customers/visitors.
It was fabulous really, and I very nearly managed to meet every single chef to say hi! 🙂

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Next, how do you purchase all that fabulous food?
For starters, cash is not accepted and you would have to buy Savour dollars (coupons). Once you got them, proceed to the restaurant of your fancy and place your order for your chosen dish. It is self service so you would have to wait for it to be ready and then get it from the service staff. There are high tables at the front of each restaurant so just grab yourself one and tuck in!

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Your Savour pass would have entitled you to a certain sum (exact amount depending on your type of Savour pass) anyhow but be prepared to top up as there are so many dishes to savour here and your initial “investment” would definitely be insufficient! 🙂

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To top up, catch one of the staff that goes around with a credit card machine and conveniently charge your card for more Savour dollars or to pay in cash, just head to the nearest Savour ticket booth.

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For a more comfortable dining experience, you can opt to dine in the fully air-con dining pavilion instead of standing and eating al-fresco style in front of the respective restaurants.

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All around the Gourmet Village there are booths selling champagne, beers and spirits so eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

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Caffeine high comes in the form of Nespresso coffee; which was free flow throughout the 4 days event. Nespresso stations can be found at the Gourmet Market as well and cheerful baristas are seen industriously brewing one cuppa after another.

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The Gourmet Auditorium is another highlight within the Gourmet Village itself.

2. Gourmet Auditorium – this impressive specially built, all enclosed auditorium is professionally set up with ovens and all necessary kitchen equipment fit for a Michelin Star chef.
That is expected of course, since this is where the invited Master, Celebrity and Michelin Star chefs imparted their wisdom during their designated demo times. I monitored my timetable rather closely and tried to catch every chef in action. 🙂

BELOW: An example of the timetable that was in the Savour bag given upon entrance. This was for Saturday, 13th April 2013.
There are different chefs demos each day so the timetable for each day are different too.

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This auditorium seats 350 and seats are on first-come-first seated basis. Large projector screens were set up to ensure visibility for all guests.

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Day 1 Thursday: Chef Anthony Demetre of Wild Honey/Arbutus – London. (He doesn’t have any restaurants in Singapore).

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His dish: Mackerel Burger with Squids. I managed to sample some at the end of the demo and it was good!

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Day 1 Thursday: The dashing Chef Jason Atherton of Pollen (Singapore). He also owns Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks in Singapore.

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I don’t quite remember what dish it was, as the highlight of the demo wasn’t really the dish but rather his charm and sarcastic humour.

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He got 2 teams of 2 guests to come up and attempt to replicate his dish. His session was one of the most entertaining cooking demo I have witnessed in a long, long time. I’m very interested to visit his restaurants now. 🙂

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Chef Anthony (Wild Honey, UK) and Chef Claude (Hibicus, UK) was appointed as the judges. A lot of prizes were given away during his session; champagne, dinners at Pollen, cookware, his cookbook and even a kiss on the cheek or 2. 😉

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His dish: Sorry, I was laughing too hard throughout the session to remember much!

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Day 2: Friday : Chef Sam Leong of Forest – Resort World Sentosa SG.

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Chef Sam Leong did came over to Kuala Lumpur for a few evenings at Intercontinental Hotel KL. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to catch him then.
He’s a rather witty chef and his session was an enjoyable one too; with a lot of cooking tips and jokes punctuated in between.

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His Dish: Black Pepper Crab – a sweetish version with added tomato ketchup. He said he cooked this dish for his first meeting with his girlfriend’s (now wife) parents and it got him a wife. LOL!

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Day 2: Friday : Chef Gustav Tragardh, Sjomagasinet (Swedish cuisine).

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The gruff, endearing Chef Gustav has a quieter humour but his session was enjoyable nonetheless. He is a rather messy cook and tend to use his hands for everything. He actually reminds me of the “golden” generation of cooks where it’s alright for the stove to be messy and there’s isn’t a need for 10 spoons to be used just for preparing one dish. His approach was very down to earth and real.

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He’s very liberal with the butter too. And for his dish, he made everything from scratch; including the dumplings, the fillings for the dumplings, the poached quail eggs and of course the cod; all within 45 minutes.

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His dish: A Swedish dish of cod, potato dumpling and prawns with prawns butter. I managed to grab myself a plate and boy, it was delicious! 🙂

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See you soon Chef Gustav, hopefully in your home country! 🙂

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Day 3: Saturday: I didn’t managed to sit in for any demo today as I was taking part in the Fiji Water Race and was busy stuffing my face at the Gourmet Village since it was my last day at Savour! Besides I had to leave by 5 pm to catch my flight.

Next, the Gourmet Market!

3. Gourmet Market – this is a fabulous foodie heaven. The Gourmet Market consisted of 2 levels of food and drinks/wines exhibitors where free tastings of salami, hundreds of cheese (I kid you not!), sausages, pate, cereals, vegetable/fruit/potato/bean chips, relishes and spreads, salmon, oysters, wagyu/angus/various other classes of steaks and pastries/cakes takes place. THE WHOLE DAY.

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The key sections of the Gourmet Market are:

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Here’s an example of the timetable:

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As you can see each section has a different event throughout the day, some concurrently so there are more than enough interesting activities going for everyone!

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Level 2:
1. Jason’s Market – produce tasting and gourmet produce shopping can be found here (more of wet/fresh produce – meat, cheese, vegetables)
2. Savour Gourmet – more tasting and food (dry produce)
3. Savour Lifestyle

Level 3: 
1. Savour Wine
2. Savour Baking – baking workshops & cakes, chocolates, pastry heaven!

Here are some pictures section by section:
JASON’S MARKET:

Dairy queens – Say “cheese” to a selection of almost 100 varieties of cheeses bought in by Jason’s The Gourmet Grocer.

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Like I have shown above, each section of Savour has their own demos, masterclass and tasting sessions. I joined one of the cheese masterclass in Jason Gourmet and stuffed myself with more cheese in addition to having an educational time.

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We started with the mild buffalo followed by the Brie and then the gorgeously pungent Gorgonzola (which was pretty mild for this brand).

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But it was this orange mimolette that was my favourite.

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It is sweet and rich but pleasant to eat with a good depth of flavour due to the aging process.

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On the other hand the Parmigiano Reggiano is saltish and crumbly, imparting a more savoury finish. The Sainte Maure Goat Cheese is creamy and midly pungent, very agreeable for the Asian palate if you’re not entirely a fan of pungent cheese.

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BELOW: My sampling portions – refillable of course. 🙂

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There were a small section on organic produce and greens. These imported tomatoes are from France and each type gave different level of sweetness and textures. 

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Being a carnivore I was hooked on the meats section. The sausages, salami, ham, steaks on display were both amazing in quality and taste.

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It was seriously eat-all-you-can. Tasting plates was being refilled generously, non-stop the whole day.

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How much cheese, ham, sausages and salami can YOU eat? 🙂

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Well, I ate quite a lot I can tell you that! There were so many types of salami and hams, all not available in Malaysia (not that I have seen them and I do shop at Jason’s – BSC, Village Grocer, Ben’s at Publika and Cold Storage quite a bit.

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Caviar (I’m not kidding!) and foie gras tasting was available too.

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Have you ever tried foie gras and gingerbread? You should! These two compliments each other really well. 🙂

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Seafood: Head here for oysters, scallops, prawns and salmon.

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Steaks. Select your cuts and have them grilled on the spot for you.

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Everything for tasting is for sale too. Many visitors were seen lining up at the cashier with their selected produce.

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Other gourmet produce includes jams, relishes, crackers, cereals and chips.

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Oenophiles would be very pleased to be at Savour 2013 as there were a few areas dedicated to spirits and wines. One was at Jason’s Market.

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Next – SAVOUR GOURMET: Check out pasta, coffee, olive oils, etc. 

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Nespresso – any way you like your coffee. Just say it and you can have it. Multiple rounds too if you wish.

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This Soda Bar was one of the highlights here. They sell a machine that carbonates your drinks and it’s suitable for home use.

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Just add water, run it though the machine and add the flavoring. Then voila, carbonated drinks made at home!

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Choose your poison – Fruity? For the kids? Cola flavoured? Ginger Ale?

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Fans of Italian olive oils, balsamic, spreads and relishes would relish (pun intended) this Savour Gourmet section.

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At one end a row of specialty food “kitchens” allows Savour guests to have a meal or 2. Choose from Japanese to Italian to oysters.

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Mini classes, live demos and cooking classes are held at the Gourmet Kitchen within Savour Gourmet. Do check your timetable (given in the goody bag upon entrance) for the list of the many classes held throughout the day.

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Next, Savour Lifestyle. 

More for Oenophiles: The Wine Theater and Gourmet Lifestyle showcased the art of appreciating wines; from educational workshops to wine tasting and blending. Spirits and beers are not forgotten either.

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Not enough with pure wines, we have wine-inspired spreads too! I’m so in love with the Moscato and Pinot Noir jellies.

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Unfortunately I was flying home with only hand carry luggage allowance so I can’t bring any of these back.

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If that’s not enough alcohol for you (I’m sure it isn’t), head over to the Savour Wine. Here, more exclusive vintages are available for tasting. I believe at each booth you have to pay a certain amount (SGD15 or so) to taste every wine that is available for tasting.

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I sampled premium fruit liqueurs too, as well as non-alcoholic sparklings. *hic!*

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But don’t just sample.
Do chat with the people behind the booth. Most (if not all) are friendly and expectantly very knowledgeable  I picked up very valuable bits of information about their wines. There’s so much to learn and the learning process is never-ending. 🙂

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You can pick up equipment related to wines as well.

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A bit wobbly after all that wines? Sit and chill at the lounge.

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Workshops and live demonstrations are also held here. Just look for the Wine Theatre. 

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Last but not least is Savour Baking.

As its name implies, this is the place for pastry, breads, cakes, chocolate and all things sweet and indulgent.

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My eyes nearly popped out when I saw Tiong Bahru Bakery. Hurray! 😀

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They were handling out samples of some of their Savour specials (only available during Savour 2013) as well as old time favourites like their famous croissants.

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I had the opportunity to sample one of Singapore’s top 10 durian desserts (or so they claimed) by the Big O.

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It was lusciously pungent enough, but I must say some of our local bakers does it better.

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The Windowsill Pies, a homegrown artisanal pie haven  founded by brothers Jonathan and Sean Gwee sells really innovative pies such as Banana Almond Cognac, Vodka Lime Coconut, Grasshopper, Chocolate Caramel Pudding and good old Apple and Pecan Pie.
Dig into bold, delicious fillings set in flaky pastry. I was told some of these pies has one shot of liqueur per slice. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find my picture of them. But check them out on http://www.windowsillpies.sg/.

Other sweet offerings are Hana Chocolate and Cake Over Heels. I had some Blueberry Cheesecake sampling from Cake Over Heels and they were really good.

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All things baking and live demo were held within this hall as well at the Baking Corner. There were macaron making, Sugar shaping and cupcake decoration classes; just to name a few.

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At the Baking Experience Corner, I sat through an interesting workshop by Michael Liu of Windowsills Pies about pastry and tea pairing. 3 types of tea from Gryphon Tea Company – Masala, Tarry Lapsang SooChong and Earl Grey were paired with Madeleine, macaron and konnyaku jelly.

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And that’s it!
The Savour 2013. Next – each participating restaurants, their menu and the food I sampled. Stay tuned!

So what do YOU think? Would you head to Savour 2014? 🙂