Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Party Affair With Willin Low

To be honest, I had never heard of Willin Low, before I received the invitation to a special preview of "A Party Affair" – The Asian Food Channel’s Original Production which premiered on Wednesday, 20 November, 9pm.  Or at least I thought I'd never heard of him.  The venue was close enough for me not to hesitate if I should accept the invitation and brave traffic, for it was walking distance (if it was a nice chilly spring morning perhaps, I forgot that we live pretty much on the Equator, which is at times as hot as quote someone I know), and I'd always been curious what the place KITCHEN CULTURE was all about.

Located in the Bangsaria building along Jln Maarof, the sprawling demo kitchens of Kitchen Culture made it the ideal venue for a food demonstration by a celebrity chef.

Anyway, as I sat down and killed time surfing instagram and facebook, it SUDDENLY dawned on me, that I had been following Willin Low willinly all this time, on instagram, under the handle @willcookwilleat.  I quickly text Keropokman (thank God for whatsapp which has made international communication so much cheaper and accessible), and ask him, "Eh, Keropokman ah, is willcookwilleat WILLIN LOW?"

No prizes for guessing WHO the main sponsors are, but in case you missed it, the programme is presented by Del Monte Asia Pte Ltd, and co sponsored by Kitchen Culture and SCS (butter).

Chef Willin was named by the New York Times as one of three chefs to change the culinary scene in Singapore, with his "Modern Singapore Cuisine", and runs four bistros and a bar in Singapore, namely, WIld Rocket, Wild Oats, Relish, and Burger Bench & Bar, and some pop up store which I forget.

We are given an insight as to the type of cuisine that will be featured in the programme.  Basically, he blends our familiar Asian flavours with western "sensibility", whatever that means, in simple steps, so that basically, Anyone Can Host A Party.  Quite the AirAsia of the culinary world.  ie, making it accessible to all...not the budget aspect.

He actually seems very affable, and animated.  A lawyer by training, apparently the talking that lawyers are famous for, helps him maintain that effusive gregarious personality on screen.

The first dish of the day was Penang Laksa Pie Tee.  It basically combines the individual elements of traditional assam laksa, in a simple manner.  He chops up the individual ingredients, mashes up a can of sardines, plops on some tamarind juice to give it that tang, mixes it up.  For the sauce, the usual prawn paste black sauce, (Har Gou), diluted, and using pre made pie tee shells, which are available apparently in the Taman Tun market, he assembles a pie tee, without the hassle of preparing the turnip boiled for hours etc etc.
Chef Willin Low preparing the Penang Laksa Pie Tee ingredients.

Ta dah, Penang Laksa Pie Tee.  I do realise that in demos like these, one cannot really do anything very elaborate, given the time and space constraints.  But also, the very premise of the show is simplicity, without compromising on taste.

The second dish, Seared Scallops Guacamole & Salsa Pie Tee, where Mexican meets Nyonya, which we shall just call Mexiconya.  Or Nyoxican.  Think of the Pie Tee shell as a mini taco shell really.

Very attractive the myriad colors.

We then got to watch the preview of the pilot episode, where actually, he looks vastly different, though sounds the same.

During the Q&A, I ask him how he manages to stay so thin, and if we can trust a skinny chef.  Well, he works out a lot, he says.

A Party Affair airs on Astro's AFC Channel 703.


smith said...
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Ciki said...

you get all the good events ahpa!! :P

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