Thursday, July 12, 2007

Singapore night at the Beard House

July 11

Did you know that Mitchell Davis was vice president of the James Beard Foundation? I had no idea. I thought he was just communications director or something, but he was named VP a couple of months ago.
I learned that last night at the Beard House, where a Singaporean export-promotion organization was having local and Singaporean chefs cook, and having Chris Johnson from Bao 111 make cocktails, including traditional Singapore Slings and an invented one called The Colonial, which is a mangosteen bellini with a sugared rim and a piece of candied ginger to chew on (the recipe says it should have a candied ginger rim, but that apparently didn't happen).
Last night marked the end of the Fancy Food Show at the Javitz Center, and Mitchell introduced me to several people who were in town for the show and had ended up at the Beard House, including some charming truffle exporters from Bologna (apparently Alba truffles are extremely hard to come by these days, but plenty of them are lodged at the roots of oak trees in Emilia-Romagna) and an Iranian caviar exporter — or maybe he was based in New York, and thus would have been an Iranian-caviar importer.
The always engaging Penny Trenk was there and I told her about my meal the night before at Benjamin Steakhouse, but since her son Michael is the GM at The Capital Grille in the Chrysler Building, she said she can’t go to anyone else’s steakhouse, which is fair enough.
At dinner I spent a fair amount of time talking to Alexa Goldstein, who like me spent time in China, and now works for an organization called International Enterprise Singapore, encouraging purchase in the U.S. of Singaporean goods and services.
Cooking were Cedric Tovar, the chef at Peacock Alley, Jake Klein, who used to be at Pulse, a restaurant at The Sports Club LA in Rockefeller Center, but apparently he’s not anymore (I’m looking into that even as I write this), and Daniel Tay, a Singaporean pastry chef and the owner of Bakerzin, a bakery-cafe chain with units in Malaysia, Indonesia and China as well as Singapore and the U.S. (on in the U.S., in Tucson).

Here's what they served:

hors d'oeuvres:
tiny fish maw in curry
salmon wrapped in lettuce
Hainanese chicken rice
lobster salad on rotis
Singapore Sling, The Colonial and Tiger Beer

Gado gado trio
Singapore Sling, The Colonial and Tiger Beer

Satay trio: lobster with kalamansi, tandoori foie gras, and xiao xing short ribs
2005 Ladera Sagrada Castelo Do Papa Godello (Galicia, Spain)

Laksa noodles with grilled cuttlefish
2005 Gainey Vineyard Riesling (Santa Inez Valley, Calif.)

Beef Rendang
2003 La Nunsio Barbera D’Asti (Piedmont, Italy)

Lemon grass jelly and golden raisin in a Martini glass
Molten chocolate cake with kumquat marmalade and vanilla ice cream
2005 Quady Essensia (Madera, Callif.)


Anonymous said...

Hello. My name is Camille. I'm working part-time at a restaurant in Vivo City, Singapore, called WOOD Restaurant and Bar. I just thought you'd be interested to know that Chef Jake Klein is now working there, just in case you're still looking for him. The restaurant is doin pretty well, and we've received positive feedback from food critics and such.


Bret Thorn said...

Terrific, Camille, thanks for letting us know.