As a Malaysian, nothing can compare our love and passion for food.
So, when Marina Bay Sands invited Rojak Daily
for a gastronomical adventure at their annual Epicurean Market and a fancy stay at their five-star hotel, how could we say no?
The Epicurean Market returns for the sixth edition from 13 to 15 December where visitors can literally come to wine and dine from the finest restaurants in the world fronted by world-renowned celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, David Myers, and Gordon Ramsay.
The foodie adventure was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre with Christmas right around the corner; making it festive affair for visitors.
A Plethora of Food, Masterclasses, and Happy Tummies
The market featured over 50 booths and also held free masterclasses with world-class cooking maestros in a festive Christmas Village that comes with Santa’s North Pole – a spot dedicated for kids.
David Myers, Ajit Gurung, Wolfgang Puck, and Tetsuya Wakuda put up a great show via their own respective masterclasses which was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience learning from the very best.
As for the myriad of food, we particularly enjoyed the Grilled Barramundi, Onion Sambal, and Calamansi from RISE, Wolfgang Puck’s take on the laksa with his Laksa Snapper In A Coconut Bowl from Spago, the sinful Basque Cheesecake from Waku Ghin and the Crab Cakes from Cut by Wolfgang Puck. You should definitely visit one of these restaurants and try them out if you’re in Marina Bay Sands.
In short, everyone including us had a great time learning new recipes from the best chefs, sampling food from every booth, and shopping away to our heart’s content.
Wolfgang Puck, The Man Full of Zest
But the highlight of the trip was definitely meeting the man of the hour – Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef, and friend of a tonne of A-listers and prominent world figures.
We sat down with the Austrian chef to talk about his experience at the Oscars, hawker food, and upcoming projects.
Rojak Daily (RD): You have a long history catering for the Oscars, so what was it like doing it for the first time?
Wolfgang Puck (WP): The first time we did it, it was for about 1200 people. So, we had to move everything from Spago to downtown and actually built a kitchen in the parking lot because we had to cook everything there. I remember it was raining and windy that night and I was making a black truffle risotto with grilled chicken breast on top. But it was so windy and no fire came up and I couldn’t boil anything and the risotto wasn’t ready.
It was hard for the first time, there were a lot of sleepless nights because I was running the restaurant until midnight and after closing we started prepping for the show. Now it’s much better because we have a big ballroom and I have two big kitchens on both sides.
RD: When you started out, did you ever imagine cooking and being friends with the rich and famous?
WP: No, I’ve never. When I was 19, I walked into a restaurant called Baumanière and I remember the owner was also the chef. He cooked for Picasso, Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Hallyday and some other celebrities. I told myself I wanted to be like this guy. Before that, I thought of becoming a truck driver like my friend and make more money (laughs).
RD: You’ve starred in several TV shows and movies. So, what’s next for Wolfgang?
WP: The people from the Netflix show ‘Chef’s Table’ are currently working on my biography. We’ve filmed a lot of scenes in LA and we’re going to Austria in January to film the place I grew up in including my school where I studied from the first grade to the eighth grade. It’s very different today then what it was during my childhood. My biography will be coming to the new streaming platform Disney+.
RD: What do you think of hawker food stalls such as in Singapore being awarded Michelin stars?
WP: For me, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it tastes delicious. Though I must say, I like the comfort of a table, I like eating at a table because I like having wine with my food. I can just have anything simple as long as there’s wine. But I really love going to hawker stalls because you get to see how people eat in every country. If you go to a fancy restaurant, it’s not the same.
RD: If you weren’t a chef today, what would you be doing?
WP: If I would have the choice, I would like to be a painter. I became friends with a lot of artists when I worked at Ma Maison because you could find a lot of artists across the street doing prints. I met Andy Warhol and he designed the menu for me, I met Robert Rauschenberg, I met Jasper Jones, so I always tell myself I want to do that too. But to get good, it’s not that simple. I do paint but I’m not happy doing it because the way I see it in my head and the way it goes on the canvas is different (laughs).