With a chocolate sculpture in the shape of a genie coming out of a bottle as their winning entry, Singapore has emerged the victor to take home the top prize at the Global Pastry Chef Challenge 2022 in Abu Dhabi last Friday (Jun 3).
The Singapore pastry team – represented by Dexter Lee who is ITE College West’s pastry and baking chef-lecturer, along with his assistant Terence Lin – beat out first runner-up Italy and second runner-up France.
The Global Pastry Chef Challenge is part of an international competition organised by Worldchefs (The World Association of Chefs’ Societies) – a non-political professional body dedicated to maintaining and improving the culinary standards of global cuisines.
The Global Chefs Challenge and the Global Young Chefs Challenge make up the other two of the three categories international top chefs get to compete in.
This year’s finals took place in Abu Dhabi from May 31 to Jun 3, where the continent’s strongest teams pitted their culinary skills against each other.
In the Global Pastry Chef Challenge category, Team Singapore had to present a total three creations – a chocolate sculpture, a plated dessert and an entremet (a classic French dessert) cake
Led by team manager Gary Lim, senior lead instructor at Temasek Polytechnic, the Lee and Lin duo created the afore-mentioned “Genie coming out of a bottle” chocolate sculpture based on the “1001 Arabian Nights” theme the team.
They also crafted a fine-dining plated dessert comprising an earl grey parfait, mango jelly and bergamot ice disc,complemented with a warm chocolate moist cake, complete with a Valrhona Bahibe emulsion.
Their final creation – the Orange Bitter Almond Entremet Cake, was made of bitter almond mousse, clementine pear compote layered with bitter almond joconde and crunchy crumble.
Singapore also took home another honour in the Global Chef Challenge category.
Leong Wei Ming ( The Spot’s Junior Sous Chef) and assistant Abigail Say (The Spot’s Commis Pastry Chef) finished second-runner-up in their competition, beating out 13 other nations.
The pair had to prepare 12 portions of a four-course menu – a vegan cold starter, a warm appetizer, a main course and dessert. They presented a Vegan Coconut Soubise Flan with White Onion Quinoa Cous Cous, Steamed Sterling White Halibut with Saffron Mouse and Pickled Daikon, Compression of VanDrie Dutch Veal Fillet & Neck and Valrhona Bahibe 46 per cent Chocolate Molleux with Citrus Meringue.
Leong and Say were led by coach Lee Boon Seng (The Spot’s executive chef), and team manager KK Kong (Sentosa Golf Club’s executive chef). All competitors were trained by mentors from the Singapore Chefs’ Association and Singapore Pastry Alliance, the national association for professional chefs in Singapore.
“The last few years have been tough but we believe that we should do our best to fly the Singapore flag,” said Eric Neo, President of Singapore Chefs’ Association. “The association believes that competitions are a way of education and we will continue to groom the next generation of chefs.”