Gordon Ramsay wins with chilli crab but loses with laksa and chicken rice

8 July 2013 / 3 years 3 months ago

Nearly 5,000 people had gathered at Newton Food Centre last night (Jul 7) to witness the cookout competition between celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and Singapore's hawker heroes at the SingTel Hawker Heroes Challenge.The scene was chaotic for most of the night. Throngs of people pushed to get a glimpse of the celebrity chef, while frenzied fans screamed and chanted chef Ramsay’s name.A photo of onlookers climbing onto the roof of Newton Food Centre just to witness the Gordon in action has been circulating on Facebook.According to a report in The Straits Times, Ramsay scored with his chilli crab, but failed to serve up a crowd-pleasing laksa and chicken rice.The Michelin-starred chef beat Mr Ang Kiam Meng, chief executive officer of Jumbo Seafood Restaurant by 5 per cent, but lost to Mr Ryan Koh, 31, of 328 Katong Laksa by 19 per cent and Madam Foo Kui Lian, 64, of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice by 6 per cent.Host for the event and well-known food critic K. F. Seetoh told The New Paper that he was not surprised by Ramsay's win as the dish was "heartland zi char standard."One thousand portions were available on a first come, first served basis. Some fans started queueing as early as 1am yesterday. By the time the cookout started at 6pm, almost 5,000 people had congregated for the, three-hour-long event.Around 3,000 votes were cast by 1,000 members of the public who turned up at the hawker centre to taste chef Ramsay’s and the hawkers’ versions of each dish, and voted for their favourites via SMS. On losing in two of the three categories, the notoriously foul- mouthed 46-year-old chef said: “What I’m taking home is a confirmation of how good hawker food is. I won three Michelin stars and they still kick my a**.‘Miss Azraini Alfred, 22, a recent James Cook University graduate and a Ramsay fan, started queueing with her friends at 11am. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him in person and to try his interpretations of local food,‘ she says.When asked who she voted for, “Gordon Ramsay‘ was her enthusiastic reply. But when asked whose food she preferred, she said: “Honestly, I thought the hawkers were better (for chilli crab and laksa) but they were on a par with the chicken rice.Other responses were similarly mixed. Ms Shirin Omar, 49, preferred Jumbo’s chilli crab which she felt had a milder taste. “Gordon Ramsay’s sauce was too sour,‘ she said.

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