Sunday, April 15, 2012

World Gourmet Summit - Best Annual Events Singapore

Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Taste of a Singapore food festival

Of Singapore's two annual food festivals, April's World Gourmet Summit has the higher international profile since it features celebrity chefs from all over the world.

Strictly-run Singapore doesn't have a reputation for cultural attractions. In compensation, the government works hard to attract tourists by vigorously promoting the city's food and restaurants. Launched in 1996 by the government's tourism board, the World Gourmet Summit is probably the year's highlight for many Singaporeans and near neighbors.

Lately the gourmet festival has been running for two weeks or ten days beginning in late April. The next edition will run from April 16-26, 2013.

The main draw: events hosted by a changing cast of about a dozen celebrity chefs from all over the world. The chefs, often from Michelin-starred restaurants, conduct demonstrations, give talks and, for a special affluent few, prepare meals. Most are specialists in French or another European cuisine, but there are always a few representatives for Japanese and Chinese food. Heinz Beck, Herve Boutin, Ken Ling, Keisuke Matsushima, Bruno Menard, Luisa Valazza and Marco Pierre White are among the chefs that have appeared at the festival.

Wine workshops and tastings have become a regular feature of the festival. Then there is another theme or two each year, such as pastry or desserts or beer. Singapore itself has many accomplished chefs in residence and some of them host events at their restaurants with the visiting chefs.

World Gourmet Summit's Wide Range of Prices

You will have to dig around to find the prices on the gourmet summit's flashy website. You must click through on each event in the 2012 calendar. As you can see from last year, on the high end, count on spending US $150- $250 per person for a dinner prepared by a very famous chef. Attending a talk or demonstration might be as low as US $15, however. The pricey meals get booked quickly, so start checking out the website in February or set up a Google alert for "World Gourmet Summit Singapore." On the other hand, you might be able to book for a wine masterclass, sunset cocktails, dessert workshop or "beer mixology" demonstration right up to the last minute.

The festival is timed to roughly coincide with an annual trade show for people in food and hotel occupations. In 2012, Food & Hotel Asia was held April 17-20 at the expo center near Changi airport.

Singapore Food Festival in July

As the the gourmet summit website once noted, the expected participants are 
"foodies, Wine Enthusiasts, Business Travellers, Corporate Executives, Social Elites and Hospitality Professionals from around the region."  But there is another yearly food festival that isn't so elitist.

Don't confuse the Gourmet Summit with the older, annual Singapore Food Festival, which usually runs in July. In 2013, it will run from July 12-21.  It used to run for the entire month. Also sponsored by the Singapore tourism board, the Singapore Food Festival is more open to the masses--that is, the events are much less expensive and patronized by a far larger number of people. They include big outdoor buffets, competitions and demonstrations. Even foreign tourists arriving at the airport are offered vouchers to exchange for a dish at particular restaurants around town.

Event: World Gourmet Summit
Usual date: Starts near the end of April. 2013 dates: April 16 - 26)
Venue:  Various hotels, restaurants and outdoor spaces 
Prices: From US $15 - $250 per person per event

Copyright +Susan Cunningham. No republication without permission. Contact SoutheastAsiaTraveler @

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