Singapore is turning 50, and to celebrate this golden anniversary, the Singapore Tourism Board will be bringing authentic culinary experiences to New York during Singapore Restaurant Week in New York. In partnership with The Daily Meal, Singapore is giving the Big Apple a taste of home, from a Singaporean hawker popup at Madison Square Park, to exclusive events at The Daily Meal test kitchen.
This week, The Daily Meal hosted two prominent Singaporean chefs, Justin Quek (executive chef at Sky on 57) and Wayne Liew (the executive chef of Keng Eng Kee Seafood) at a Singapore Cooking School event that showcased one of Singapore’s most popular and revered ingredients: crab. The two chefs demonstrated four diverse crab dishes during the Singapore Crab Showdown.
Chef Quek made crab vermicelli in a light ginger broth (Southern Chinese crab soup with ginger and wine broth) and wok-fried black pepper crab with Maine lobster (Singaporean crab with Maine lobster seasoned with black pepper sauce), while chef Liew served the traditional Singapore chili crab (crab topped with a sweet and sour spicy chili sauce) and salted egg yolk crab (duck egg and crab topped with curry leaves and fish sauce). Both chefs represent different styles of Singaporean cooking: chef Quek’s restaurant is high-end, gourmet cuisine, while chef Liew’s restaurant, which he runs with his siblings, is rustic rather than refined, and discourages the use of utensils.
“Singapore has come a long way,” chef Justin Quek said. “We started with nothing 50 years ago but today we are a strong culture. We used to eat to live, but now we live to eat. We have the best products and ingredients like fresh crab, never frozen.”
Both chefs did a live cooking demonstration of one of their dishes, tempting our audience of food bloggers and Instagram influencers with tantalizing varieties of crab, and giving us a taste of Singapore’s breadth of gastronomic tradition.
“Singapore and its culinary traditions turn 50 years old this year,” said Colman Andrews, editorial director at The Daily Meal. “The hawkers are essentially food courts with Thai, Chinese, Indian and it costs $1.50 for a plate of rice or noodles topped with meat. But there’s also a dozen Spanish restaurants, elegant French food and at the high end restaurant, the prices, amazingly aren’t bad compared to New York.”