World Gourmet Summit 2009

I never get homesick, but living in Beijing does strange things you. I miss my parents, my home, friends and my dogs. I miss walking out to Bedok simpang for greasy suppers and roti prata, teh tereks and giant milo dinos.

And then I read about the Gourmet Festival taking place at home and it hurts even more that I can’t be there eating an even larger selection of fantastic food.

Last night was terribly nostalgic, grating lemon skin in the basement of Raffles Hotel Beijing in the kitchen of Jaan, nosing around the cooking process of visiting two star Michelin chef Nicolas Le Bec and resident chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot who spent considerable amounts of time in Singapore, the latter spent two years working at Raffles Hotel Singapore. They sympathised deeply when I said sometimes I don’t understand the Chinese because we’re actually very different people. bien sur. We talked about our favourite hangouts in Singapore, where we’d go and eat, what we’d order. That made me miss home more than ever, I couldn’t find the answer to “bah ouai, mais why did you leave Singpour, the food paradise?”.

The dinner we had was out of this world, which deserves a blog entry on its own. Translating from French to Chinese, vice versa and back to English had Beijing’s top food critics mocking my poor Chinese vocab. I can’t wait to start my Chinese classes on history, culture and culinary traditions.

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