Winning third place at the Global Young Chef Challenge on Wednesday came as an early birthday present for Lynnette Tay. The chef de partie at Resorts World Sentosa turns 25 tomorrow.
Speaking to The Straits Times on the telephone from Lyon, France, where the competition took place, she says: "It was very stressful, but I'm very happy with the result because we trained very hard for it."
The Global Young Chef Challenge was created in 2002 by Worldchefs, a global network of chefs, to promote and groom young people in the profession.
Competitors had to prepare a three-course meal and Tay gave the judges a taste of Singapore with sweet and sour sweetbreads as part of the main course.
This is the first time that the Global Young Chef Challenge was held at Sirha, the international food and beverage trade show in Lyon.
The trade show is better known as the venue for the prestigious biennial Bocuse d'Or culinary competition and World Pastry Cup. The series of culinary events took place from last Saturday to Wednesday.
Representing Singapore at the 30th edition of the Bocuse d'Or - the equivalent of the Olympics for Western chefs - was chef de cuisine Yew Eng Tong, 37, of Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora at Resorts World Sentosa. Singapore ranked 16 out of 24 participating countries.
For the first time, the United States team received top honours at the Bocuse d'Or. Norway was in second place and Iceland was third.
For the World Pastry Cup, also known as Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, held on Sunday and Monday, the Singapore team ranked No. 9. The team comprised Kent Ng, 33, and Desmond Lee, 29, from Mandarin Oriental Singapore, as well as Edwin Leow, 33, of Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa.
The top three spots went to France, Japan and Switzerland.
Also flying the Singapore flag high at Sirha were chefs Patrick Heuberger, 42, and Brandon Foo, 30. They came in third out of 12 teams for last Saturday's International Catering Cup. Switzerland took first place, while the French team came in second.
Heuberger, who has been working at Huber's Butchery for the past six months, says: "The competition is not just about your skills as a chef or pastry chef. It also involves production and transportation as well.
"We had been preparing for more than a year. We didn't want to just participate, our target was to be in the top three. This competition is not very well-known and I hope more chefs will participate after this."
Foo, the chef de cuisine of Le Bistrot du Sommelier in Armenian Street, says: "I didn't know about the competition when Patrick first approached me. I'm very proud to represent Singapore and I can't wait for the next edition in 2019."