This was a pop up Masterchef event organized at Ash & Elm, Intercontinental Singapore from 25 November – 9 December 2016. We went for the lunch session – A, M & I. We’re all vivid Masterchef fans, though I prefer the US version while A&M prefer the Australian version. Nonetheless, it does not matter which version you like since the pop up featured Masterchef contestants from the US, Australian and Asia series. Of course, we were also very proud that the winner of the Masterchef Asia was a Singaporean! The chefs featured in the pop up were Marco Pierre White (A’s idol), Reynold Poernomo (M’s favourite from Masterchef Australia)), Luca Manfe (US Masterchef Season 4 winner) and Woo Wai Leong (Masterchef Asia winner).
The pop up was a very interactive event, and we were encouraged by the hosts to take as many photos as we liked with the chefs. To give them credit, the chefs (despite their busy schedule) were very obliging and we managed to get photos with all of them and more.
So below, is a snapshot of how we spent our lunch session during the pop up, just to give a sense of how “active” we were and how it was just not a sit down and eat event.
We arrived at around noon, and we see everyone taking photos with Marco Pierre. Ok, we want one too!
Oh, people are crowding around Reynold. We want one too! Look at how excited M is.
Ok, let’s find our seats. Time for some small bites before the actual lunch!
Introduction time by the chefs! Oh, they even had a mystery box challenge! A table number was picked and a table representative was presented with a tray of ingredients. They quizzed her for a while and she actually thought that she had to make a dish. Turns out that the table won a bonus dish which would be prepared out of the ingredients in the mystery box. So lucky!
Halfway through the introduction, I was suddenly tapped on my shoulder by a stranger. He was very stern and he said “do you want a photo with Marco?”. “Eh ok…”. He beckons me to follow him to the kitchen when he tells Marco that I want a photo with him and he obliges. He takes my camera and I just smiled. I’m still in a daze when I return to my table and I see A and M trying to hide their smirks. OMG, they set me up! Ok, I can’t begrudge the photo opportunity they gave me.
Now lunch begins! The first course was created by Leong who gave us an appetizer of dashi tea broth, egg white, cured hamachi and scallop, daikon cress and green apple. Loved it, especially the tea undertones. So refreshing and light, just what we needed to kick off the meal.
Followed by Luca’s dish – freshly made ravioli in a cream / butter sauce. There was nothing OTT or fancy about this dish, but it was executed very well. The pasta was well made, with a generous filling and the sauce was not too rich.
There was a short lull between the pasta dish and the main course, so we went photo taking around the masterchef pantry. We then caught Marco Pierre walking around and cajoled him into a few more photos (really milking our ticket’s worth).
Finally, we decided that we should behave and went back to our seats. In time for the main course – again prepared by Leong, beef shortrib, angelica root, glutinous rice and egg plants. This dish was prepared well, but I thought it was just all right. Rather, Leong’s appetizer stood out more and was memorable in comparison to this dish.
Lastly, dessert! We had a bit of an inner scramble when I saw Reynold come up to the table and serve M with her dessert – I got in a lucky snapshot. Haha! It was a cheesecake mousse with blackberry gel, yuzu curd, blueberry compote, lemon meringue and lemon shortbread shards. Oh and because it was my birthday, I had a birthday message on my plate. Yay!
After the meal, we went photo hunting for the other chefs and we managed to get one with Luca – he was extremely friendly and very popular!
A funny picture with Leong since he saw the onion “gift” that Marco Pierre had given me
We took many funny pictures and left the restaurant with this last one by the signboard. Definitely a very fun experience for all of us!