World Gourmet Summit
by Nureza Ahmad
A gastronomic assembly that aims to plant Singapore on Asia's taste-buds, the World Gourmet Summit is an annual event that was originally put together by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Peter Knipp Holdings (PKH), with the latter taking over after the second run of the summit. Graced by world-renowned chefs honing their kitchen skills, the summit has been a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike since it started in 1997.
Singapore is a food paradise and eating is said to be one of Singaporeans' favourite pastimes. The people's rich multi-cultural roots have brought forth a melting pot of delicious cuisines. As a window to Asia's rich culinary heritage and world's popular cuisines, Singapore is an ideal stage for showcasing these offerings. The idea of a world gourmet summit was dreamed up together by the former STB's CEO, Tan Chin Nam, and food and beverage consultant, Peter Knipp, eight years ago when they attended the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. It came into being not long after when as part of the Food Festival, the World Gourmet Summit Forum was held in Singapore from 24 to 31 July 1997 at the Suntec City and hotels. The premier brought together master chefs from 12 hotels and restaurants around the world who cooked and conducted classes, as well as took food-lovers on a gourmet safari where the chefs treated them to four course-meals at a handsome price.
The World Gourmet Summit is a celebration of gastronomy, held in Singapore annually. It is attended and participated by the world's masterchefs and vintners, who showcase their gastronomical creations to trade and public visitors alike. Since its debut in July 1997, it has increasingly attracted worldwide attention and response, so much so that the organisers extended the duration of the event from one to two weeks in 2003. Overseas and local visitors who attend the event get to enjoy the finest cuisine and wines in an exciting programme that includes Masterclasses, Masterchef Safaris, Epicurean Delights and Vintner's Dinner.
The event has won many top awards from the US-based International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) for various categories since 2000. The awards are conferred in recognition of the summit's high level of creativity and innovation. Thus, the IFEA awards endorse Singapore's status as a leading gourmet capital in the Asia Pacific region. STB has been marketing the summit since it started, having relinquished the running and funding of the event fully to Peter Knipp Holdings after the second run. The benefit of the summit to sponsors like the hotels or restaurants is not purely profit. They value more the opportunity for their local staff to learn from the talented chefs and the branding that comes from hosting a big name.
The summit also gives out Awards of Excellence (AOE) to recognise talents in Singapore's F & B (food and beverage) industry. Past winners included Sam Leong of Tung Lok restaurant, crowned as ethnic chef of the year in 2002, Justin Quek and Abby Tan.
Nureza Ahmad & Nor-Afidah Abd Rahman
A chance to learn from world-renowned chefs. (1997, July 24). The Straits Times, p. 43
Chefs' mission: To create special flavour for food fest. (1997, June 29). The Straits Times, p. 31.
Wong, A. Y. (1997, June 29). Chow time! And what a spread. The Sunday Plus, p. 10.
Peter Knipp Holdings. (n.d.). World Gourmet Summit. Retrieved March 8, 2004, from www.worldgourmetsummit.com/
The information in this article is valid as at 2004 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.