Food

World Gourmet Summit celebrates its 20th instalment

World Gourmet Summit celebrates its 20th instalment
This year's World Gourmet Summit jam sessions, dubbed WGS 20 Best Chefs, will feature its largest number of chefs gathering for a weekend of gastronomic collaborations.
The year’s event will also boasts its biggest jam session to date
Published: 9:45 PM, February 24, 2016

SINGAPORE — In what some might see as yet another nod to the meteoric rise of Singapore’s dining scene, the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) returns from March 28 to April 24 to celebrate 20 indulgent years of fine cuisine, top wines and world-class dining that have made it one of the region’s most talked about food and wine event.

“The last two decades have seen so many changes in Singapore’s food landscape, and we are extremely proud to have contributed to its evolution. Coming into our 20th year is a major achievement for the World Gourmet Summit, with the real heroes being our local talents who have made a name for themselves both here in Singapore and abroad,” said Peter A Knipp, CEO of PKH Pte Ltd, which manages and curates the event. Ranita Sundramoorthy, director of attractions, dining and retail, Singapore Tourism Board, affirmed this, adding that since its inception, the WGS “has played an important role in putting Singapore on the global food map”.

Of course, the scene has, as Knipp pointed out, also evolved tremendously, with access to the best gastronomic experiences growing in leaps and bounds.

“Entering into our grand milestone 20th year, some people have asked, are we still relevant? My response is, look at the numbers, they speak for themselves,” Knipp said. “The WGS has lasted a generation, and continues to be relevant by involving the community and providing an outlet for people from all walks of life to appreciate fine wines and gourmet cuisine from all over the world.”

The numbers he spoke about include more than 300 international guest chefs, many of whom are Michelin-starred maestros, who have graced the event in its 20-year history, not to mention the 150 wineries that have showcased their exclusive pours (more than 250,000 litres of wine have been consumed since 1997), and the encouraging haul of more than S$6 million dollars raised during its charity gala dinners.

And in keeping with this year’s notable anniversary, the event’s signature “jam sessions” have been dubbed WGS 20 Best Chefs, featuring more than 20 top chefs, local and international, in what can be described as a weekend of culinary collaborations and fervid discussions about the future of food. (The jam sessions of previous years average around 10 participating chefs.) Notably, one of the two international chefs collaborating in this year’s instalment include Michelin-starred Reto Mathis from St Moritz in Switzerland, who is also the WGS’s first visiting master chef.

Participating local top toques include Stellar at 1-Altitude’s Christopher Millar, Restaurant Andre’s Andre Chiang, Whitegrass’ Sam Aisbett, Odette’s Julien Royer, Ivan Brehm of Bacchanalia, Sebastien Lepinoy of Les Amis and JAAN’s Kirk Westaway. Representing more local flavours are Singapore’s original culinary celebrity Violet Oon, Malcolm Lee of Candlenut and Restaurant Labyrinth’s young talent Han Li Guang.

Taking place on April 16 and 17 at award-winning multi-concept lifestyle and entertainment destination 1-Altitude, the weekend event will also see a panel of six industry professionals in a symposium to discuss trending issues, such as the rise of local talent or the lack thereof, which will also look to question if Singapore’s local talents are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Speaking of acclaimed chefs, familiar names making an appearance include Yoshinori Ishii of London-based restaurant Umu, which was recently awarded two Michelin stars; three Michelin-starred Spanish chef Nacho Manzano of restaurant Iberica; and Kyoto’s two Michelin-starred Takagi Kazuo; as well as Ireland’s Mark Moriarty, who last year earned the title of S Pellegrino’s inaugural young chef of the year; and Indonesia’s doyen of modern cuisine, Petty Elliott.

This year, the WGS has also chosen to support the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), a charitable organisation providing care for kidney patients and raising public awareness of kidney-disease prevention. In celebration of its first year of partnership with the NKF, a charity gala Dinner will be held on April 7, which will focus on the theme of Mindful Eating, and where an auction to raise funds for the NKF’s efforts will be carried out. DON MENDOZA

More information on the World Gourmet Summit 2016 events is available at http://www.worldgourmetsummit.com/. All reservations can also be made via reservation partner Chope through the WGS website.