ST reader excited to meet celebrity chef

Madam Cindy Fok, who won the Margaret River Gourmet Escape contest, will meet chef Curtis Stone

Madam Cindy Fok, who is a vice-president in a bank, will travel to Margaret River in Western Australia with her husband.
Madam Cindy Fok, who is a vice-president in a bank, will travel to Margaret River in Western Australia with her husband.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Madam Cindy Fok, 47, has an enviable knack for winning in lucky draws.

In the past four years, she has won two iPads in separate draws.

Last month, the Straits Times subscriber won something even bigger and better: A trip for two worth $10,000 to attend the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, held from Nov 16 to 19.

Presented by Audi, this sixth-edition of a four-day food, produce and wine extravaganza in Australia features an impressive line-up of culinary stars, including celebrity Australian chefs Curtis Stone and Peter Kuruvita.

Madam Fok's contest win of a four-day package includes a pair of Singapore Airlines return economy tickets from Singapore to Perth, three nights' accommodation, event tickets and exclusive experiences, including access to sold-out dinners.

The contest was co-organised by Margaret River Gourmet Escape and The Straits Times and drew hundreds of entries across a three-week window.

To participate, ST subscribers had to download the SPH Rewards app, look for this deal and save it to their e-wallet.

They then had to send an e-mail explaining why they wanted to go to the Margaret River Gourmet Escape.

Madam Fok says she could not believe the news when she received the call telling her that she had won.

"I told the caller, 'Wow, is this true?' I found it unbelievable," says the vice-president of the service transformation department in a bank here.

The first person she called to share the good news with was her husband, Mr Nelson Tan, 48, an engineer. The couple have two children aged 11 and 17.

Australia is a country that holds fond memories for the couple, as Madam Fok worked for six months in Melbourne in the early 2000s, while her husband studied in Brisbane for two years during the same period.

"We love the food there. It's so fresh. I remember having a glass of wine with my meals there practically every night," she says.

They are looking forward to visiting Margaret River. It will be their first time in that region, as well as their first trip as a couple without children in three years.

Madam Fok is excited to meet chef Stone, whom she will be interacting with at the Audi Gourmet Beach Barbecue event during the festival.

"I watch his programmes and it's interesting to see how he creates special recipes using simple ingredients," she says.

The beach barbecue event will see five culinary talents getting behind the grill to whip up their versions of continental fare.

Another event Madam Fok will be treated to is Feast In The Forest, in which renowned Canadian chef Roger Mooking and his team will celebrate wood, flame, smoke and cooking with feasts within the grounds of the iconic Leeuwin Estate.

Her win also entitles her to enjoy the festival's exclusive Platinum Lounge, where she and her husband can take in panoramic views of the festival and have opportunities to mingle with the top chefs, while sipping on wines and tucking into charcuterie, cheese and freshly shucked oysters.

Madam Fok, who enjoys having oysters with wine, says: "I'm excited, I'm thrilled and I can't wait to be there."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'ST reader excited to meet celebrity chef'. Subscribe