Singapore has made Olympic history again - this time, at the Culinary Olympics.
The national culinary team beat 29 other teams to be the only Asian country to win two gold awards in the Cold Display and Hot Cooking categories.
Held in Erfurt, Germany once every four years, the culinary competition is one of the most prestigious in the world. This year, it took place from Oct 21 to 26, and featured 30 national teams.
The Singapore team is led by Swissotel Merchant Court's executive chef Louis Tay and captain Teo Yeow Siang of catering company Lavish Dine Catering. The team members are chefs Triston Fang of Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora at Resorts World Sentosa, Alan Wong of Lavish Dine Catering, Roy Lim of global food service provider Unilever Food Solutions, and pastry chef Alex Chong of The Regent Singapore.
Chef Tay said: "It has been a very intense period for us as a culinary competition of this level is both emotionally and physically intense.The team has sacrificed a lot of time and sleep."
After returning to Singapore on Friday (Oct 28), chef Tay gave The Straits Times an insight into their preparations for the competition and the importance of the win for the industry here.
He elaborated: "We starting training a year ago on a weekly basis during weekends, since we have full-time jobs. We also had to raise funds for sponsorships - it costs about $250,000 to bring a team to an international competition.
"Culinary competitions are all about seeking for perfection. It enhances your skills, your being and you as a chef. It tests a lot on techniques, creativity and consistency.
"It produces better chefs and this has a direct impact on the industry. It is not possible to create competition food daily, but we are able to integrate part of it - in food presentation, for example."