Nine months after taking over the reins at fine-dining restaurant Jaan at Swissotel The Stamford, its chef de cuisine Kirk Westaway won the Rising Chef of the Year award at the annual World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Awards of Excellence
Chef Westaway, 30, who took over after chef Julien Royer left to open Odette restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore, said on Tuesday at the awards ceremony: "Chef Julien has won this award and now I'm filling his shoes. It is massive pressure but I've given it all I can. My team and I are constantly pushing new boundaries and we are going from strength to strength."
As part of the World Gourmet Summit festival of food and wine events, he will be cooking with Irish chef Mark Moriarty at Jaan from April 11 to 14. They will present a collaborative five-course lunch menu ($128++) and an eight-course dinner menu ($258++).
Chef Moriarty, 23, was awarded San Pellegrino Young Chef last year and chef Westaway received the South-east Asian title for the same award.
The summit, in its 20th year, is a festival of dinners, culinary masterclasses and workshops. It started on March 28 and ends on April 24.
It is organised by A La Carte Productions, a division of food consultancy Peter Knipp Holdings, and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.
•Chef of the Year: Andre Chiang, Restaurant Andre, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road
•Asia Cuisine Chef of the Year: Leong Chee Yeng, Jade, 1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel
•Rising Chef of the Year: Kirk Westaway, Jaan, Swissotel The Stamford
•Pastry Chef of the Year: Frederic Deshayes, Do.Main Bakery, 226 Tanjong Katong Road
•Apprentice Chef of the Year: Aaron Wong, Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, Resorts World Sentosa
•Sommelier of the Year: Alan Au, Iggy's, The Hilton Hotel
•Restaurant of the Year: Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Resorts World Sentosa
•Asian Restaurant of the Year: Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
•New Restaurant of the Year: Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens, EJH Corner House
•Bar of the Year: No. 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar, 5 Emerald Hill Road
Other awards went to Joel Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa for Restaurant of the Year, and Corner House at the Singapore Botanic Gardens for New Restaurant of the Year - an award for a restaurant that has been running for at least six months and no longer than two years. Corner House opened in July 2014.
Restaurant Andre's Andre Chiang, 40, received his third Chef of the Year award. He said: "Many new restaurants are opening and everything is happening so fast. This is a reminder to keep up with the competition and the award means so much more this time."
He launches his new cookbook Octaphilosophy at the end of this month and will go on a world tour from next month to October to cook in 21 cities including New York, Paris and Amsterdam.
New awards were also given out, including Apprentice Chef of the Year, which went to chef Aaron Wong, 23, from Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora in Resorts World Sentosa.
The At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy graduate said: "I've always liked to cook since I was young, as my father is the cook at home. One day, I hope to work in a Michelin- starred restaurant in Europe."
The judging process consists of three rounds. The first round of nominations and voting is by the public and industry professionals. The second round is by 600 industry professionals, followed by a final round of five jury members to select the winners.
•For more information, go to www.worldgourmetsummit.com