Category Archives: Events & Exhibitions

Unite, Not Divide

Even before this year’s Ramadan managed to make through its first week, my phone and social media feeds have been (and continue to be) inundated with photos, actions, reactions, and everything else in-between regarding a certain “list”. Allow me to share my thoughts and hopefully bring some sense in a seemingly senseless world.

What This Is About

A collaborative article by The Halal Food Blog and Halal Food Hunt stemmed from a moral-religious obligation to earnestly admonish their target audiences; primarily focusing on food stalls in the annual Geylang Serai Bazaar. It features a list of stalls which have been halal-certified by Singapore’s lone Islamic authority, MUIS, as well as stalls owned by Muslims.

Another sub-list – which has since been deleted – features stalls which “are not Muslim-Owned and not Halal-Certified or meet halal risks as described”.

Despite a number of the latter’s owners and staff taking additional steps and measures to ensure – to the best of their knowledge, ability, and legal means – that they source and work with ingredients which have been halal-certified (a highly commendable and selfless move in itself), the denouncement of the nature of their business – courtesy of what can be described as a self-styled questionnaire – came as an unwelcome surprise.

While the main intention of the article was definitely not to name-and-shame, a certain degree of damage had already been done thanks to screenshots of the now-deleted sub-list spreading like wildfire via mobile messaging apps and social media.

Word On The Street

A close source (a veteran food vendor who literally grew up in and around bazaars, and also happens to be a decades-long Geylang Serai Bazaar stalwart) at ground zero has noticed food vendors who were featured on the sub-list – which include a mix of both veteran loyalists and first-time aspirational millennials – mulling over whether participating in this year’s Bazaar was a good business decision to begin with.

The cost of setting up a business in Singapore is already physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially exhausting enough; and word of potentially damaging information would only add more woes.

Despite the lengthy and detailed explanations, clarifications, and justifications, the article has still come across with having a somewhat divisive, holier-than-thou, authoritative, and haughty demeanour; more so as the website and article is accessible by many, and helmed by a collective of young, tech-savvy, and highly enthusiastic individuals, but void of any officiating position.

Why It Matters (Or Not)

While the bulk of businesses and activities within the area of Geylang Serai cater towards the Malay and Muslim demographic – which will inevitably result in human traffic consisting largely of Malays and Muslims (not unlike how Chinatowns around the world are a Chinese enclave) – its is important to note that Geylang Serai has neither been a halal- nor Muslim-exclusive area.

The Geylang Serai Bazaar (colloquially known as “Bazaar Ramadan” due to it’s tradition of being prominent in the area exclusively during the month of Ramadan) has and continues to serve as the locus of anything and everything Malay- and Muslim-related (food, fashion, etc.) during the said period, playing a supportive role to existing brick-and-mortar stores.

On a related note, seeing how some Muslim businesses have helped themselves with a slice of the Chinese New Year Bazaar’s pie earlier this year, who or what is to stop non-Muslims from setting foot in the Geylang Serai Bazaar? Imagine the ruckus that would ensue if those businesses were to be publicly categorised and labelled “non-Chinese-Owned”…

Being On The Right Side Of Things

As a whole; should vendors at the Geylang Serai Bazaar apply for halal certification? Maybe; because of the reasons listed above about the area being a hub for Malays and Muslims, in addition to the increasing population of affluent Muslims.

Are they obliged to do so? Not at all; because of the reasons listed above about Geylang Serai being neither halal- nor Muslim-exclusive.

If the Bazaar vendors decide to go ahead with the idea of moving towards a halal certification; then, good. If not; no big deal, because they cannot and should not be forced to do so.

Despite that, regardless of the location or the demographic served, claiming to be something which you are not (i.e. callously self-proclaiming your food as halal without proper and legal validity – which, worryingly, has and continues to happen) would definitely put you in a bad predicament in the eyes of both the masses as well as the law.

Conclusion

To sum it all up; the Geylang Serai Bazaar is, first and foremost, a Singaporean-Malay and -Muslim tradition. At the time of this post’s publication, the area has not been gazetted as being halal- or Muslim-exclusive.

While the list is much welcomed by a segment of the population, it has indirectly triggered an unnecessary, unneeded, and divisive sentiment between Muslims and non-Muslims. While some may see that the act of thoughtfully advising fellow Muslims about what is right and/or wrong as a moral and religious obligation, others may consider it to be nothing more than a self-satisfying halal/haram (permissible/not permissible under Islamic law) witch hunt or even a form of online vigilantism.

A simple reminder to one and all about their constant obligation to exercise discretion in seeking and frequenting halal food stalls around the literal maze of sights, smells, and sounds of the Bazaar (or anywhere else, for that matter) would have sufficed.

The few street and/or night markets (known locally as pasar malams) such as the Geylang Serai Bazaar belongs to all Singaporeans. Looking at the bigger picture, this whole issue only proves to show how distant we really are in attaining the multi-racial and egalitarian utopia that we often hear other nations praise us for being. Let’s not allow our beliefs to divide us, because the last time such divisive mentalities were allowed to prevail, it certainly did not do anybody any good.

I shall end this post with a reminder to myself as well as all who are fortunate enough with the means and reach to do so: It is imperative – especially in this day and age – to choose to unite, not divide.

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Food & Socialikes Connect 2015

With an overcast sky and light drizzle as company, I made my way through the labyrinth of narrow alleys and lanes around Chinatown in central Singapore. I walked passed a Hindu temple already abuzz with activity; filled with worshipers and devotees diligently exercising their faith and going about their rituals within the gated grounds – despite it being only half-past-eight in the morning. The damp asphalt road ahead was flanked by two mirroring and near-parallel rows of colourful and refurbished shophouses; home to eateries and design studios, amongst other businesses.

Further up the road, the staff of Caribbean restaurant Lime House were already busy with preparations in the kitchen as they were playing host to Food & Socialikes Connect 2015; dubbed as the “first ever conference in Singapore for food bloggers and Instagrammers, by food bloggers and Instagrammers“. Not long after taking a seat on the brightly-coloured bench outside the restaurant, I met up with a fellow participant of the event, Ian. After exchanging pleasantries, Derrick (one-fifth of the event’s organisers) prompted us to join other early-birds up the dimly lit flight of stairs of the eatery’s third storey lounge.

In addition to Derrick, the rest of the organising commitee – Aries, Nathanael, Nicholas, and Nicole; all of whom were dressed in pink – took the effort to greet each and every one with enthusiasm and humility as they waited in line for registration. As the crowd grew, so did the level of enthusiasm and excitement. I then spotted a familiar face in the crowd – Adam Shah, from The Halal Food Blog. He felt relieved to see a familiar face amongst the crowd of fifty-or-so people, and we then made our way to our seats. As the crowd tucked into their morning coffee courtesy of Gentleman’s Coffee and Kafve Coffee, together with a chicken sandwich by venue host Lime House; Nat played the role of school teacher and attempted to call for decorum in the room filled with boisterous and excited food lovers.

A “wefie” featuring yours truly and Adam Shah of The Halal Food Blog. Photo: @thehalalfoodblog

The event showcased an array of food-centric individuals: companies, app developers, food bloggers, food photographers; the list goes on. Dixon and Shawn from Burpple kicked off the programme by giving their insightful thoughts on how the collaboration between food and technology has helped shape and subsequently expand their business. Food photographer Alex Ortega was next to grace the stage, armed with tips and tricks for smartphone food photography. Despite being a man of few words, Alex managed to successfully capture the attention of the audience who listened and watched very attentively for anything which may give them the upper hand for two of the day’s food photography contests – one of which will see Alex serving as the judge.

Armed with his own plate and set of cutlery, Kevin Beatrice Marling‘s photo was a winner in judge Alex Ortega‘s books. Photo: @kevin_the_snitch

After the lunch interval, four names in the local food scene – Maureen Koh (Miss Tam Chiak)Dylan Ong and Joshua Khoo (Saveur); and Willin Low (Wild Rocket) – served as panelists in a talk about the impact of social media on restaurants. With the mid-day sun shining through the windows; the pros and cons of social media were openly discussed, along with a few jibes at some rather peculiar traits often seen on social media with regards to people reviewing and talking about eateries. The panelists collectively understood that the reality of technology and social media cannot simply be left aside; seeing it is as something very relevant and powerful in today’s times. They came to a rather comical and unplanned agreement that those who work in the food industry should not read food-related blogs, in an effort not to be too distracted and/or discouraged by words from food writers, bloggers, and anybody who has access to the internet.

The next panel touched on plagiarism and the rights of social media users featured Maureen, together with Bernice Tan (The Hungry Bunny; a food lover who, aptly for this panel, happens to be a lawyer); Daniel Ang (Daniel Food Diary); and Catherine Ling (Camemberu). Nat highlighted that all of the four panelists have had the unfortunate experience of having their photos and/or articles plagiarised; which made them appropriate candidates to talk on the said issue. The whole room listened attentively as Bernice opened the panel by talking about the legalities of the internet and the likes (for example; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA). She also weighed on the hefty financial costs (which she concluded and strongly reiterated to be not worthy of one’s time and/or effort) of taking a plagiariser to court, among other issues that may slip the mind of those who aren’t au fait with the law. When it came to Catherine, she mentioned with a casual yet matter-of-factly demeanour:

“It’s simple; just send them an invoice stating the link of your original post along with the relevant amount of monetary remuneration you wish to receive. I had a friend who did that, and they paid her!”

Additionally, she shared her first-hand experience about plagiarisers who were (rather shockingly and strangely) more willing to pay a blogger for using their post(s) and/or photo(s); as opposed to simply crediting them – with no costs involved – with a foot note/disclaimer on their page.

Slightly past 2 o’clock in the afternoon, famed food blogger Dr Leslie Tay (ieatishootipost) took to the floor to touch on lessons in life and blogging. Armed with PowerPoint slides and a philosophical approach, he waxed lyrical on topics pertaining to the person as an individual as well as one who could be a contributor to the society at large. Drifting away from his food blogging norm, Leslie did fairly well to get the audience and hosts to think about the bigger picture in life. The amount of social and charitable work done by him and his army of followers clearly depicts him as one who walks the talk. A collective roar and highly appreciative round of applause filled the room as he closed his talk; with the audience moved and encouraged by his words and charitable deeds.

Wong Hoong An (SingTel/HungryGoWhere) felt he had big shoes to fill following Leslie’s highly motivational and inspirational talk. Despite describing himself as one who is not very technically savvy, Hoong An brought up valuable and relevant information and experience with regards to past and present trends of social media and food. Along with his knowledge of food trends and patterns, his business insight was clearly exhibited as the talk went on.

Lee Zipeng’s Kinfolk-esque photo caught the eye of Maureen Koh (Miss Tam Chiak), and was selected as the winner for the second round of the day’s food photography contest. Photo: @zippyzipeng

Following a short tea-break, Hoong An was joined by Daniel Ang; Tony (Johor Kaki); and Seth Lui as part of the final panel discussion titled “The Future of Social Media”. Hoong An and Daniel raised the topic of YouTube being a severely under-utilised medium when it comes to food blogging; to which I wholeheartedly agree. Capitalising the use of YouTube can allow one’s blog and/or brand to grow beyond the ubiquitous photo-and-text blueprint commonly seen on food blogs in Singapore. Seth – who was on the receiving end of a number of jokes at his relatively quick rise to food blogging stardom and recent recognition in South Korea – maintained a cool composure and eloquently shared his experiences in the realm of food blogging.

Conclusion

The late afternoon sun played hide-and-seek with the off-white clouds as the day’s event drew to a close. Nat delivered the event’s parting words, together with sponsor and venue shout-outs; which was followed by a rousing round of applause in what could only be described as an event with no current equal. While there have been numerous food-centric events in Singapore, much of it has been only about the showcase and consumption of food. This gathering of like-minded individuals and entities, and building of a food-loving community (including writers/bloggers, photographers/Instagrammers, etc.) has been long overdue. I do hope that this event serves as a catalyst for similar events which gathers and engages the food-loving community in this island nation.

As expected with anything making its debut, hiccups and uncertainty would be inevitable. Unfortunately, certain discussions strayed a little off-topic (while others seemed to have dwelled a little too long on a sole question/topic); which meant certain speakers to cut their presentations and/or discussions short (which was the case for Dr Leslie Tay; who, unfortunately, had to rush through and omit some of his slides).

However, much respect and credit has to be given to the five aforementioned organisers for making the event a reality and success. Despite the initial brouhaha concerning a venue change, they pressed on and successfully managed to secure an alternate venue, along with an impressive number of names and sponsors from the local food and beverage industry, namely;

Alfero GelatoBrand CellarCold Front CoDancing ChefThe EntertainerFijiFullerton HotelGarden PicksGentleman’s CoffeeHuijiKafve CoffeeThe Laughing CowLime HouseMiam MiamOceans of SeafoodThe Palette KnifeSoon HuatSpicy Thai Thai CafeSunrise Bistro & Bar, and Win Win Food Singapore.

The event’s goodie bag; made up of various food and beverage items and food vouchers. Photo: Food & Socialikes Connect

A quick chat with Nat after the final panel discussion revealed that there may be a possibility of a similar event next year, but he seemed slightly more open to the idea of making the event a biennial one. Only time will tell as to what will be in store for future installments of Food & Socialikes Connect. One thing is for sure though; I would be more than thrilled to be sitting in a room of like-minded people and soak everything in once again.

Here’s to many more great food experiences, together with positive growth and development of the food-loving community in Singapore!

Food Fit For An Athlete – And Everyone Else

With the 28th edition of the SEA Games gracing Singapore in less than a month, loads of preparations have been underway to guarantee a near-flawless execution of the biennial showcase of athletes from South East Asia.

While a bevy of athletes have been working exceptionally hard in hopes to outdo their rivals, a group of dedicated nutritionists and cooks have slogged out as hard as (if not, even harder than) the aforementioned sportsmen and women to ensure everybody involved in the games – athletes, officials, and volunteers – would be well and properly fed.

Together with the Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) and Singapore Sports Institute (SSI), project chief Chef Kenneth Francisco (Head of Food and Beverage Operations during the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG)) “believes at least 70 per cent of the food that will be served can be eaten by everyone.

In an attempt to balance “tasty” and “healthy”, recipes of local favourites such as Hainanese chicken rice and mee soto have been tweaked in order to be “leaner” and “contain lower levels of salt”. Only time will tell as to whether they would pass the “tasty” test. These are among the 120 dishes scheduled to make an appearance in the specially constructed menu over the course of the Games.

Clockwise from top-left: Chef Kenneth Francisco (in black), along with Team Singapore athletes (in red), and members of the kitchen team (in chef jackets); sauteed pasta with garlic and fresh herbs; a medley of dishes which would be available for athletes and officials during the Games; and local favourite – Hainanese chicken rice. (Photos: Lawrence Wong Facebook page and Yahoo Singapore)

If this meal initiative is to be genuinely broadened to include the army of Games volunteers, it would certainly be very encouraging news. Such honour and luxury wasn’t the case five years ago.

During the inaugural YOG held in Singapore in 2010, 21 volunteers went down with food poisoning after consuming a catered meal. Fortunately, the affected volunteers fully recovered. No athletes were affected; as they consumed different meals which were not provided from the said catering company.

Food Truck 2.0 – Le Bistro du Lion

The physical and internal image of a food truck looks set to get a makeover after Peugeot revealed its take on a modern food truck earlier this month. The result of a collaboration between Peugeot Design Lab and French food truck specialist Euromag is Le Bistro du Lion. Equipped with (among many other features) a professional coffee machine that will make most cafe owners green with envy, and a 46-inch screen in which “foodies can watch the chef’s every move”; this brings a whole new meaning to the gourmet food truck dining experience.

Photo: Peugeot

Equally at awe are the folks at Gizmag, who state:

…the many aspects of the vehicle named “Le Bistrot du Lion” cannot be portrayed adequately in one image.

For those who wish to see this exquisite piece of food, food truck, and automotive engineering up close and personal; Peugeot mentions:

The Peugeot Foodtruck was dreamt up and designed by Peugeot Design Lab, the carmaker’s Global Brand Design studio, and dubbed Le Bistrot du Lion. The new restaurant on wheels will take up residence at Milan Design Week 2015 on 14 April, before heading to the French Pavilion at the 2015 World’s Fair, Expo Milano, where the theme will be “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

For those who will not be able to make it to any of those aforementioned events, fret not – more images of this exquisite piece of food, food truck, and automotive engineering are available via Gizmag.

As Peugeot makes a statement with such a bold design, it will not be long before other automotive manufacturers ride on this as inspiration for future food truck innovations and designs. Practicality, the relative ease of cleaning up after operations, and maintenance issues would be some of the key factors for any potential food truck owner or franchise to mull and moot about before making a purchase. Nevertheless, many – be it those in the F&B industry or those who frequent food trucks – will still be eager to see what’s next for the food truck industry and culture.

World Street Food Congress 2015 – The Aftermath

As the 2015 cohort of street food extraodinaires from different parts of the globe fire up their stoves for the final time in Singapore this year, much can be said about the second installment of the World Street Food Congress (WSFC). The charcoal-smoke-filled air – easily capable of reaching one’s olfactory receptors from across the street – and constantly scurrying food vendors and hardworking crew seemed to suggest nothing less than the “greatest hits” in terms of gustatory pleasure.

Having visited – on two separate days – the open field next to Tan Quee Lan Street as a bystander with near-zero expectations; I arrived with a very mind, and equally open eyes and ears.

Food For (Almost) All

The decision to stage the WSFC at an alternative venue seemed to have a positive impact the moment you arrive within the Jamboree’s immediate vicinity: people by the hundreds, young and old, queued patiently and thronged the various stalls, and tucked into their street food delicacies of choice at the designated dining areas. Curious passers-by and tourists were also drawn into the gastronomic extravaganza. All of this despite the scorching heat and perspiration-inducing humidity.

In an ironic twist of fate however, head honcho of Makansutra (organiser for the WSFC) KF Seetoh and his team went through what he called “a nightmare for the organisers” when “almost all the food was sold out 4 hours into opening time at 9pm” on the very first evening of the WSFC Jamboree due to the fact that there were “too many people”.

Talking Food

The Dialogue-Hackathon was a session primarily aimed at having “delegates from all over the world come together to discuss the many aspects of street food, including its historical significance and how best to further its appeal“. Unless you had S$450 to spare for tickets, this seemingly closed-door segment of the WSFC was prioritised for and targeted towards members of the media and the food industry’s present/current practitioners (i.e. the who’s who of food) for answers to issues that are plaguing the street food branch of the culinary arena. Impressionable students from culinary and hospitality institutions (they are offered a discounted rate of S$120) were also targeted as they are touted to be those who will be holding the street food torch up high, while attempting to promote continuity and defend culinary traditions.

In an attempt to be more inclusive, Makansutra and WSFC could perhaps take the MADFeed route and make snippets (or critical moments of the various discussions; or, better still, as much as the whole Dialogue-Hackathon as possible) available for viewing online. MADFeed charged a roughly similar amount for tickets to their 2-day symposium in August 2014 and seemed to be more open and forthcoming in terms of getting people from all walks of life – regardless of how deep their pockets may be – involved in discussions about food.

Street Food “Greatest Hits”

Photos: WSFC/Makansutra

Putting all your eggs into one basket is often regarded as a bad decision. In the case of the WSFC (and similar events): the enthusiastic and very well-intentioned nature of gathering a large selection of “street food maestros”, and subsequently throwing them into a neutral venue often spells a recipe (no pun intended) for chaos. Despite their respective and combined years of near-flawless experience, finesse, and routines which come as second nature; these cooks and chefs have little to no control of what happens and/or may happen (refer to the aforementioned unforeseen “first evening fiasco“) away from their operations’ “natural habitat”.

As much as some (or one, in the case of KF Seetoh) think that they’ve managed to come up with a “greatest hits” smorgasbord, the assembly still lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. To illustrate: imagine driving through hilly and uneven roads – passing by acres of tea leaf plantations and strawberry fields – to reach a near-remote part of Indonesia to get a plate of traditionally and meticulously prepared gudeg, without doubt, enhances the whole dining experience tenfold. In essence, it makes the whole trip worth one’s while – dare I say it; more than that of just the food.

Pros And Cons For Everybody Involved

It goes without saying that the abilities, as well as highly appreciative, and equally well-intentioned nature of the army of aforementioned cooks and chefs are extremely valid and intangible attributes. Additionally; their time, effort, and sheer dedication is something to be admired and be inspired by.

However, business back home is bound to be affected – regardless of how much they were paid and/or sponsored (if they ever were, in the first place) to grace and participate in an event of international stature such as the WSFC. Temporary closures of their establishments, for example, will definitely result in losses – do note that we are talking about five consecutive days of non-operation for people from as far as the other side of the world.

WSFC 2015 - Paul Qui Food Truck (2)

Top Chef Season 9 Winner Paul Qui representing East Side King; whipping up kinilaw (Filipino ceviche) and inasal (grilled chicken) tacos

For the attendees to the event, the dilemma between choosing “costlier but convenient” (i.e. gathering food stalls and vendors for the WSFC Jamboree) versus “cheaper but having to fork out more for other factors” (e.g. cost of transportation and accommodation in a foreign land, and taking an extended leave of absence from work); there is neither right nor wrong.

Despite that, the idea and reality of global travel/tourism is becoming increasingly affordable; therefore it would make more sustainable and pragmatic sense for people to flock abroad to enjoy gastronomic offerings of foreign nations (i.e. culinary tourism, in addition tourism per se). In this case, one’s whole self (stomach, mind, eyes, ears, etc.) would be subject to experiences of immeasurable proportions.

If It Doesn’t Make (At Least S$2 Million) Dollars, Then It Doesn’t Make Sense

KF Seetoh stuck by his never-give-up attitude and enthusiasm towards street food culture despite suffering a loss at the premier edition of the WSFC two years ago. While it may come as a surprise to some; it goes without saying that the prices of the food (in both the previous as well as this year’s WSFC) are based on numerous inevitable factors which have to be taken into consideration (e.g. vendor accommodation, transportation costs, cost of ingredients, staff payroll, rental costs, etc).

Maria (right) – a Bolivian cook – had to fly 45 hours to Singapore because she was unable to get a US stopover visa en route here. Together with her is Gustu Melting Pot (Bolivia) head chef Kamilla (centre). Photo: KF Seetoh (left)

The Jamboree primarily succeeded in exhibiting itself as a food event for people with near-inexhaustible funds in their bank accounts. As I made my way in and around the sea of hungry souls with plates of sample-sized or portion-controlled amounts of food set in front of them, aghast cries of, “This had better be worth the money I paid”, and “Wow, that’s expensive!” were common. A moment of awkward and deafening silence fell upon a table of four young ladies – no older than 16 – when one of them carefully brought two sundae cups of Churros Sundae from the Churros Locos stall (USA) and revealed its price: S$16.

Basic arithmetic reveals that for someone to try food from all the participating WSFC stalls at the Jamboree (about 32 dishes in all); he or she has to fork out a total of S$263.10. Regardless of how dreadful one’s grasp of mathematics may be, the aforementioned number is one that most can neither afford nor are willing to part with. Under the guise of online monikers, various anonymous internet users aired their frustrations online. One “JBK” labelled the whole event as a “try-hard marketing gimmick“; while “GlobalCrosser” summed it up as “the biggest con job in the history of Singapore food scene“. Then again, it is worth noting that the initial S$2 million spent will not magically re-appear in Makansutra’s bank account immediately following the event.

Short Of A True Global Representation

Despite being billed as the World Street Food Congress, not all parts of the world were adequately represented (as was the case during the inaugural edition). Nations such as Japan, China, neighbouring Taiwan, and Hong Kong are very well known for their street food and traditional dishes; but were unfortunately missing in action. The aforementioned East Asian nations’ noodle culture is, in itself, are separately – as well as collectively – filled with rich history and fantastic flavours. Similarly, regions such as Africa and the Middle East – with the latter having an extremely wide array of street foods such as various flatbreads and grilled meats – had no street food ambassadors present. South America and Europe – each of which have very interesting food cultures and habits – were only represented by a lone stall each.

While one may argue that concerns pertaining to immigration – and other bureaucratic red tape – could have been one of the many genuine reasons for the absence of representatives from the said nations and continents; KF Seetoh and Makansutra could try and take a page out of Anthony Bourdain’s book and channel their inner Parts Unknown to explore further and delve deeper to quench their undying appreciation and thirst for street food. Networking, networking, networking.

WSFC 2015 - SG Pavilion

In conjunction with SG50, a “Deliciously Singaporean Pavilion” was set up. The pavilion housed the five stalls of Singaporean delegates who were chosen to fly the nation’s flag at this year’s WSFC.

And That’s A Wrap

At the end of the day, nothing is perfect; for we can only chase perfection but not attain it. Putting everything else aside; tons of credit has to be given to KF Seetoh and his team (which comprise of – but are not limited to – casual part-timers; volunteer and hand-picked students from culinary and hospitality institutions; full-time staff; and specially contracted security, stewarding, and cleaning personnel) for staging and ensuring the smooth flow of this highly ambitious event.

Once again; the cooks, chefs, and vendors who took time off to grace the event cannot be praised nor thanked enough. Despite whatever mishaps and/or hurdles they faced, these folks took them head-on like the fearless warriors and highly devoted artisans they are. Thank you for doing what you do, as always, and flying the street food flag high with pride.