World Gourmet Summit

World Gourmet Summit: Julien Royer of Odette is Chef of the Year again; Morsels bags Restaurant of the Year

Winners all (from far left): Chef de Cuisine of Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, Kenneth Oh, who took home the Rising Chef of the Year award; Petrina Loh, chef-owner of Morsels, which won Restaurant of the Year and Chef's Choice (Western Cuisine) award
Winners all (from far left): Chef de Cuisine of Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, Kenneth Oh, who took home the Rising Chef of the Year award; Petrina Loh, chef-owner of Morsels, which won Restaurant of the Year and Chef's Choice (Western Cuisine) award; and chef-owner of Odette, Julien Royer, who bagged the Chef of the Year award.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Chef Julien Royer of Odette in National Gallery Singapore has been named Chef of the Year for the second time by the annual World Gourmet Summit's Awards of Excellence held on Monday.

This win comes one month after Odette took the ninth position in this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list and won the Highest New Entry Award. Odette was also awarded two Michelin Stars last year.

Royer, 34, says: "This win is significant for me and my team given that the local dining scene is competitive with many good chefs and restaurants. Winning this award for the second time takes on a stronger meaning for me as this restaurant is my baby that I am much more involved in."

He was recognised as Chef of the Year at the Awards of Excellence in 2014 when he was the chef de cuisine at Jaan in Swissotel The Stamford.

  • The winners

  • Chef of the Year

    Julien Royer, Odette

    Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year

    Javed Ahamad, Punjab Grill

    Rising Chef of the Year

    Kenneth Oh, Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare

    Pastry Chef of the Year

    Kenny Kong, Resorts World Sentosa

    Baker of the Year

    Woon Thai Suan, The Fullerton Hotel and The Fullerton Bay Hotel

    Apprentice Chef of the Year

    Samuel Quan, Element on Tras Street

    Restaurant of the Year

    Morsels

    Asian Restaurant of the Year

    Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House

    New Restaurant of the Year

    Salted & Hung

    Bar of the Year

    Manhattan, Regent Singapore

    Sommelier of the Year

    Daisuke Kawai, La Terre

    Restaurateur of the Year

    Wee Teng Wen, The Lo & Behold Group

Fusion restaurant Morsels in Dempsey Hill was lauded as Restaurant of the Year, beating Michelin-starred restaurants Odette and Restaurant Andre.

Its chef-owner, Petrina Loh, 35, says that the win came as a "total surprise".

She says: "This award is very encouraging especially for a female chef from a local independent restaurant as I am working with a lower budget and fewer resources."

She adds that she has been "driving the restaurant forward" since her business partner, Mr Bryan Chia, left in April last year.

"I did everything by myself - from revamping the menu by adding pickled and fermented ingredients to commissioning the designs of plates."

Later this year, she will launch Chef's Table, a four-seat table in one section of her restaurant and diners will tuck into drink and food pairing menus that revolve around in-season produce.

She also picked up the Chef's Choice (Western Cuisine) award, which fellow chefs vote on.

Other major accolades include the newly set-up Restaurateur of the Year award, which went to Mr Wee Teng Wen, co-founder of The Lo & Behold Group.

The lifestyle group runs The Warehouse Hotel in Havelock Road, which opened in January, and restaurants such as Po in The Warehouse Hotel, The White Rabbit in Harding Road and Odette.

Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare's Chef de Cuisine Kenneth Oh, 27, was recognised as Rising Chef of the Year.

He says: "Winning this award is awesome. It means a lot to me as I started out as a demi chef in the same restaurant six years ago. It has been a tough journey as I have met a range of characters - some can be rude or pushy - in the kitchen, but I learnt to adapt and worked harder to climb to where I am today."

Modern Australian restaurant Salted & Hung in Purvis Street, whose head chef is Drew Nocente, clinched New Restaurant of the Year honours.

 

Chef Kenny Kong, 59, of Resorts World Sentosa was named Pastry Chef of the Year for the second time.

 

The veteran chef, who is a mentor to Singapore's national culinary and pastry teams, says: "This award gives me a responsibility to share my knowledge with the industry to strengthen Singapore's culinary scene."

A total of 39 awards were handed out in a ceremony in One Farrer Hotel & Spa that was attended by about 300 guests, including local and regional industry professionals.

This is the 17th year of the awards, which is held as part of the World Gourmet Summit, a gastronomy festival that is in its 21st edition.

The festival, which runs till April 16, comprises an epicurean line-up of about 60 events, from specially designed dinners paired with tipples to cooking masterclasses. It is organised by A La Carte Productions, a division of food consultancy Peter Knipp Holdings, and supported by Singapore Tourism Board.

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 about 600 industry professionals, followed by a final round of five jury members to select the winners.

•For more information, go to www.worldgourmetsummit.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Julien Royer of Odette is Chef of the Year again'. Print Edition | Subscribe