Spotlight on local chefs at gourmet food event Savour this year

Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).
Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).PHOTOS: ARTICHOKE, DUO STUDIO, SAVOUR
Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).
Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).PHOTOS: ARTICHOKE, DUO STUDIO, SAVOUR
Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).
Look out for items such as chef Bjorn Shen's chicken skin sundae (left), chef Tan Huang Ming's peanut butter and jelly sandwich (top) and Spathe Public House's garlic fries (above).PHOTOS: ARTICHOKE, DUO STUDIO, SAVOUR

Their new food creations and free workshops are among the highlights at the casual gourmet food event this year

International chefs tend to be the headlining acts at food festivals here.

At casual gourmet festival Savour, however, it is the brigade of local chefs that diners should watch out for, many of whom are introducing their latest creations.

The fourth edition of Savour runs from March 26 to 29 at the F1 Pit Building and tickets are already on sale for its lunch and dinner passes.

Notable Singaporean chefs taking part include Artichoke's Bjorn Shen, Osia's Douglas Tay, Cocotte's Anthony Yeoh and Labyrinth's Han Liguang.

Not only will chef Shen showcase cuisine from his modern Middle Eastern restaurant Artichoke, but diners will also get a taste of his new concept Birdbird, which he terms a "sloppy Thai chicken-centric eatery". It is slated to open by the end of the year.

It will serve a style of "food-truck rugged food", he says, so expect nothing less than a chicken skin sundae made with milk ice cream, salted palm sugar caramel, sweet corn and chicken skin crackling.

His buddy Tan Huang Ming, the former head chef of Lolla, is looking to open sandwich shop Park Bench Deli in the Central Business District by June, which will give diners a glimpse of his sandwich creations.

At Savour, he will serve a muffaletta, an Italian- American sandwich stuffed with cured meats, fresh mozzarella and an olive salad; and a crusty peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Those looking to attend classes at the event can pick up cooking tips from chef Han of Labyrinth.

Known for his mod-Sin cuisine, he will share basic molecular techniques that can be replicated at home.

Budding bakers can attend a hands-on pastry workshop called Eclair Epiphany by pastry chef Michael Liu, 30. It will be held at the festival's Hands-On Cooking Studio with an 80-seat gallery area.

He says: "I will share trade secrets to making a delicious and Instagram-worthy eclair. I have created a special sake eclair for Savour - crisp buttery choux puffs filled with sake ganache and topped with a marzipan layer and silver leaves."

He has consulted for brands such as Windowsill Pies and Fix Cafe, and is developing a dessert shop that focuses on eclairs and frozen desserts with Franco-Japanese flavours. It is slated to open by the middle of this year.

The workshops and demonstrations are free, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Visiting chefs will join these local talents to whip up more than 50 dishes at the festival's Gourmet Village, celebrity chef masterclasses at the 150-seat Gourmet Auditorium, and 22,000 sq ft Gourmet Market.

The guest chefs include Daniel Clifford of two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House in Cambridge in Britain; Henrik Yde of one-Michelin- starred Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, Denmark; and Luke Burgess of modern Australian restaurant Garagistes in Tasmania.

Aside from trying their creations, do not miss the Gourmet Market which features items such as Japanese white strawberries, truffle cheese and an oyster bar with more than 20 types of oysters from eight countries.

Done feasting? Then head to the 10,000 sq ft wine and sake section, which includes wine and sake appreciation classes.

Looking forward to meeting "fellow hardcore foodies" at Savour is returning chef Han, who took part in last year's edition.

He says: "To meet other chefs and taste their creations is an experience I cannot miss. The key takeaway from last year's event was how to create fine-dining dishes - meant for production in small quantities - in large quantities without sacrificing quality.

Having to work in a new kitchen environment also proved quite a challenge - his deep-fryer stopped working at the start of last year's event.

"To experience the scale of the event and overcome logistical barriers was also a very fruitful learning experience," he adds.

euniceq@sph.com.sg