Eat List Star – Find Out What The Culinary Stars Cooked!
Have you caught Eat List Star yet?
The first two episodes (or webisodes) have aired on 21st April where you can check out who they are (some intense competition there), and the other four are launched on 28th April (cooking challenge) and 5th May (announcement of the Top 10!). (Read: Eat List Star Contestants Pick Their Must-Have Asian Street Food)
The 20 semi-finalists has gathered for a bootcamp in Singapore, where they were assessed by judges Cheryl Tiu, International Journalist; Loh Lik Peng, Director of Unlisted Collection; Ryan Clift, Chef-Owner of Tippling Club; Simone Heng, Mediacorp Class 95 DJ and Uttsada Panichkul (Utt).
Did the judges say anything nasty? (Well… only one way to find out.)
Over the course of the bootcamp, the team of 20 faced two cooking challenges. The first was a Philips challenge where they were supposed to create a sweet and savoury dish with 4 Philips appliance (rice cooker, noodle maker, air fryer, juicer). Tough as they needed to exercise their creativity and time management skills.
For the second challenge, they had to create “A Dish That Best Represents Yourself”.
Daniel’s Food Diary speaks to the batch of 20 Eat List Star talents and checks out which dishes they prepared to represent themselves.
Amelia Lam Yu Ting, 23
Portobello mushrooms with avocado and tomatoes
Portobello mushrooms perfectly baked in the oven with crushed spices and then stuffed with avocado and tomatoes, topped with black pepper is just absolutely the perfect dish for me on a lazy weekend.
There is a little secret to this is – don’t hold back on the spices. Mushrooms and avocados can be fairly bland if they’re not spiced.
Anupong Nualchawee, 31
Occupation: Pastry Chef
Stir-Fried Tom Yum Foong with Coconut, Lemongrass and Water Melon Juice
I used to cook this when I was alone at home. For a start, we need to get the following ingredients finely sliced: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal (Thai ginger) and the shallots.
After that, we put all the ingredients into the wok and stir-fry with oil & chili paste until the flavour comes out then we can add the shrimp.
It can be seasoned with palm sugar, fresh lime juice, fish sauce and lastly very importantly is the coriander. I served this with some creamy coconut cream, infused with Thai crushed herbs. As my Style!
Caitanya Tan, 28
Eat a Rainbow!
Different coloured foods contain different vitamins and nutrients. Emphatic about being a good ‘Auntie Cait’, I rename dishes and colour them naturally, enticing children to eat their veggies.
As a person, I am colourful. I am smiley and cheeky, with an actor’s honest range of emotions that one would associate with the colours of a rainbow and all the nuances in between. This dish represents me. Colour, nutrition, and oopsie-daisies all in one!
Charlotte Mei de Drouas, 23
Occupation: Nutritionist and full-time food geek
White Snapper en Papillote
Don’t let the modest appearance of this dish deceive you as it has many flavours waiting to reveal itself.
Like myself, there is more to unravel about me than what is seen on the outside. I have a fierce passion for food, and like this dish, I can’t wait to punch through.
With this dish, I also touched upon both my French and Chinese roots. Whilst using a classic French technique and presentation, the dish is bathed with citrusy-spicy Asian flavours such as chilli, lime, ginger, kaffir lime and fish sauce.
Christopher Black, 33
Egg & Rice
I didn’t grow up in Asia. I don’t have the heritage of Asian food as a born and bred local would. My view of Asian food is through a Western lens.
What I created for Eat List Star to represent myself was a take on chicken rice; chicken rice without the chicken, textures flipped on their heads, new techniques used in an effort to show where I was coming from.
The main component of the dish was an espuma of rice, a light cream sauce made with the use of a cream gun. I thought but the overall dish had a great balance of taste and a good umami aftertaste.
It would have been good to have a bit more time to get more flavour out of the stock, but at least nothing was raw.
Clayton Klyne, 38
Occupation: Private Chef
Asian Surf and Turf
As a chef I am an obsessive over planner but I decided to have a bit of fun with this challenge and let inspiration meet creativity. Instead of overthinking, I just walked around the market picking ingredients that looked fresh and amazing.
If the hawker was friendly and smiling, I took it as an omen and had a look at what they were selling.
First I was sold the best piece of pork in Singapore (according to Uncle) and then some large prawns by a very happy and smiley fish monger. “Asian surf and turf” – quite fitting as again it is a popular North American dish with an Asian twist… and I surfed.
Some ingredients that I used – Soy, chili, and lemongrass marinated Pork, buttered King prawns, broccolini and oyster mushrooms, coconut lime leaf sweet potato puree, yellow gravy (poached egg).
Hatta Teo, 28
Occupation: Revenue Manager
The “Dover” Role
Oven-baked Dover sole rolled and stuffed with olives and crushed Thai-basil, served on a chunky mash of carrot and pumpkin that has been spiced with cumin and coriander powder, ginger and lime
The fish is topped with freshly grilled asparagus to add fresh colours to the dish and is served with a generous drizzle of cherry-tomato and stock reduction.
Lastly, it is finished with a sprinkle of crushed roasted almonds to give the dish an undeniable crunch with every bite.
The original dish comes from a French cookbook which I first tried back in 2006, and have never done it since. I’ve replaced the Mediterranean / European ingredients to give this dish a fresh and modern Asian update!
Satya Narayanan Mohanan (James), 31
Instagram account name: @ChefJamesSatya
Duck Rendang, Quill Eggs and Eggplant Caviar
Duck is a bird and quill egg a form bird as well. So naturally birds have the ability of flying. Flying represent of freedom. So am I.
When I’m cooking or creating a new dish, I would think beyond boundaries. That’s me.
Jennifer Angela Lee, 34
Crispy Sea Bass with Plantain Shrimp Curry and Mango Lime Jam
This dish represents the knowledge I have gained cooking Latin American cuisine (using shrimp and plantain) but can also be crossed over into Asian cooking.
By using my gut instincts for these challenges I feel that I am leaning towards Indian cuisine in my cooking.
I seasoned the sea bass with salt and pepper and pan fried it, skin down. I baked it in the oven with a banana leaf. The warm flavours of the curry contrasted with the tart and sweet jam with the salty, crispy sea bass.
Marc Justin K. Tee, 29
Seafood Laksa Risotto
Risotto made with the classic flavors of Laksa. Creamy gravy made from fresh coconut cream, seafood stock and traditional spices.
A medley of perfectly cooked prawns, squid, mussels and clams are mixed in at the last minute and a squeeze of lime gives this dish a rich but balanced taste.
Michelle Mae Villanueva Vivo, 30
Occupation: Legislative Staff Officer / Pastry Consultant
Green Curry Arroz Caldo topped with Deep Fried Goat’s Brains and Chicken Ass, and Crispy Basil leaves
I cooked a traditional Filipino chicken porridge/congee with generous chunks of ginger and then infused it with spicy green curry paste.
Then I topped the porridge/congee with turmeric and green chili dipped deep fried chicken ass and goat’s brain. For added texture, I added crispy basil leaves.
Neilkhan Bautista, 25
Lemon Glazed Honey Chicken with Asian Mashed Potato
Sauté the chicken then add soy sauce mirin honey lemon cooked till reduce down the sauce boil potatoes add spring onion roasted garlic milk butter.
Paolo Mendez Rigotti, 33
Occupation: College Dean / Entrepreneur
There are plenty of varieties of paella and the one I prepared is the “mixed” one. It has seafood, pork, chicken, veggies and different spices like paprika and saffron. I topped it with some handmade aioli sauce.
I choose this dish to represent myself, cause just like myself, is a mixed of cultures and flavours.
Shahrizal Bin Salleh, 36
Tahu Goreng, Kerabu Mangga, Prawn Paste Peanut Butter and Jumbo Prawn “Keropok”
Classic malay dishes in one plate. Combining different flavour profile, textures and of course the kick from chilli padi. Western cooking technique with local ingredients.
Go Big or Go Home? I did both.
Sharon Mah, 41
Cheekychillipadi’s Thosai Pongteh
Thosai for all the local snacks I used to “sneak eat” with my dad. Ayam Pongteh for all the lovingly home cooked meals my mum never failed to serve for dinner every day growing up. Marrying the two gives the best experience!
Crispy on the outside, grainy soft on the inside, piping hot Rava thosai, speckled with shreds of carrots, cumin and curry leaves, wrapped around a salty-sweet fermented soy bean and shallot-based stew of succulent chicken morsels, soft Chinese mushrooms, crunchy bamboo shoots, with a surprise chilli and ginger kick at the end.
Steven Snowdon, 29
Curried Bisque Chowder
Spiced sea bass and prawns, sweetcorn puree, curried bisque, crisped curry leaf, pickled fennel and crispy soft egg yolk.
This dish inspired by my visit to the wet market. If a bisque/chowder had a baby with a curry this is what it would look like.
Curried bisque made from the shell of the prawns with spices, seared Sea bass cooked in foaming butter and curry leaves , sweetcorn puree, spiced shrimps , pickled fennel and for added texture, fried breaded soft egg yolk, and crisped curry leaf.
Suriyana Binte Jumari, 33
It is named so after the fiery red sambal prawns. It symbolises the determination that I have towards life. It also meant that I am ever ready to take on any challenges given to me. Strong and fearless.
I ended my dish with a spread of curry mango puree with molten lava egg. The outer part of the egg is crispy with a soft and lava-like yolk that flows nicely when it is being consumed.
Timothy Ong (pref: Tim), 27
Chicken Wing Confit, Ginger Scallion Noodles and Vegetable Crudites
Noodles are comfort food to me, but instead of a rich broth or sauce, I wanted something more light and refreshing to pair with the rich crispy chicken wing confit with tare sauce and to refresh the palate with a playful salad of Asian vegetable crudites.
The salad consisted of XO sauce bamboo shoots, pickled cucumber, shavings of baby carrot, radish and seaweed.
Vivian Chen Pei, 46
Occupation: Food Geek
KFC à la Viv
Despite comments to the contrary from the judges, I don’t think fried chicken is easy or too simple, not if you want to get it right.
In any case, I wanted a very addictive, feisty and aesthetically pleasing dish. Korean Fried Chicken popped into my head and wouldn’t leave!
My dad grew up in Korea so a lot of that culture runs through my family and our food. I added a quick kimchi slaw for freshness and balance.
Tay Jun Yang (Zachary), 34
Occupation: Sommelier / Private Chef
Chicken, Water Chestnuts and Horseradish
I literally spent half my time wandering around the spice shops in Tekka looking for Sumac but had to settle for Garam Marsala as no one seemed to have any stock of it.
I seared the chicken breasts with garam marsala and cooked them in an immersion circulator at 63 degrees. This would be served with glazed water chestnuts, heirloom/baby carrots and a foam infused with sze chuan peppers and horseradish.
Caitanya (bless her bubbly soul) calls this dish “Chicken Flu”! Sadly but so aptly because this dish required me to bring my A game to the table but the flu bug obviously had other ideas!
Nevertheless! I like these ideas and dishes and they truly represent what food is to me. It is just a pity I wasn’t able to bring it to the table when it mattered (on this occasion).
Eat List Star, a search for the best new culinary talents, is Mediacorp’s first programme under its Eat List umbrella of food-centric initiatives. The competition aims to identify and groom a new generation of food personalities who can cook, host and charm.
These 20 talented home cooks and chefs has gathered in Singapore for an intense bootcamp and aired as a reality web series on Toggle.sg.
The 10 Top Are Out! These 10 will move on to the last stage of the competition where more challenges await them on their journey to become winners of Eat List Star. The top 3 will stand to win long-term media and business development contracts with Mediacorp, opportunities to grow their culinary careers, and a shot at fame.
For a look at the semi-finals more updates and contestants’ profiles, get on to www.eatlist.sg or @eatliststar on Instagram.
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(Read: Eat List Star Contestants Pick Their Must-Have Asian Street Food)
*This entry is brought to you in partnership with Mediacorp.
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