The chiobus and yandaos of Sex & Sensuality Kingdom attracted me more than Fann Wong and Mark Chao.
Introverted as I am, I have rejected events with Fann Wong, Mark Chao, and MPs as guests of honor. But when At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy invited me to their student graduation project titled “SpiceOdyssey,” I said yes. Yes, because free food from the graduating class. Yes, because some of the best food I’ve eaten this year come from At-Sunrice alumni like Han Li Guang (Labyrinth), and Dillon Ng (Gastrosmiths). Yes, because when one of these graduates becomes the next big chef, I can say blasely, “Oh yeah, I was there when s/he started.” Man, I’m obnoxious. Haha.
SpiceOdyssey is thus named because At-Sunrice was first established in 2001 at Fort Canning where Singapore’s first spice garden was. At-Sunrice is an accredited culinary school with partners such as Johnson & Wales University (USA), University of West London (UK), and William Angliss Institute (Australia). For more information on the school, you can visit their Open House on Friday, 17 Oct, 5-8pm, to enjoy food demos, academy tours, and a career talk. RSVP here.
At SpiceOdyssey, the graduating students had to choose a theme (known as “Kingdom”) and were given a budget to work with. We (friends, family, and invited guests of the students) visited 6 rooms with different Kingdoms. The students put in so much hard work. If I were their teacher or parent or friend, I would be so proud of them. In fact, I was so excited and proud of the students I, an introvert, started talking to other invited guests. (Hi, Rahmat! Hi, Sam! Sam was a graduate in 2012.)
5 out of 7 members of Intoxicants Kingdom
My favorite theme was the Intoxicants kingdom, or food to get high. The group decorated the room as “Alice in Wonderland,” a story about a girl who chases a rabbit down a rabbit hole, and meets creatures like a grinning invisible cat, and Queen of Hearts. The author must be high to write such a story. In this Kingdom, the Sayur Lodeh (pictured below) was presented quirkily: you have to inject the spiced coconut broth. The “Magic Mushroom” (pictured below), which was really Earl Grey Mousse on Lemon Meringue, was safe and delicious to eat without giving you hallucinations. But my favorite, and my favorite of all 42 dishes that night, was the Ipoh Hor Fun. So much fun hor I got so high they had to pull me down from the ceiling.
Intoxicants – Sayur Lodeh
Intoxicants – Magic Mushrooms
There were some delicious and innovative dishes from other groups too: Croquetas, Mustard Pork Aspic, and Seaweed Macaron with Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese from the Culinary kingdom; Sous Vide Prawn Maki Sushi with Desiccated Watermelon from Rainbow; Lavender Citrus Posset with Lemon Gelee from Aromatics; Yam Meringue from Health & Beauty; and Foie Gras with Tea from Sex and Sensuality (which used aphrodisiacs as ingredients).
Taking photos of humans is difficult. I’ll stick to food photography, thank you.
By the end of the night, when the teacher announced that the show was over, and the students were now fellow chefs, the graduates gave a joyous yowl. In that yowl, there was so much happiness, revealing so much hard work, passion, pain, and soul put into their studies. I was secretly touched by their dedication, but, as a man, I pretended not to feel a thing. Congratulations, graduates! Thank you for sharing with me such a beautiful and significant night of your lives. I’m deeply privileged.
When colors of rainbow combine, it becomes white.
Explaining their dishes.
A member of Rainbow with her creation, Coconut Lime Cheesecake
Chew Kai Yang and his delicious Croquetas, made from Bechamel sauce and 2-year aged Iberico
Cinnamon Apple Pie
Kingdom: Health & Beauty
I assure you the guy wasn’t sleeping. I’ve a knack for taking photos of people with closed eyes.
Tomato Gazpacho, Mozzarella & Basil Mousse.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
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