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Singapore Food Festival 2008 brings love of food to new heights

The Singapore Food Festival returns for the 15th year to serve up the nation’s rich culinary heritage, vibrant food culture and celebrated local delights. From 4 to 27 July 2008, all-time favourites such as Singapore Char Kuay Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Satay and Fish Head Curry take centrestage as thousands of participating establishments island-wide serve up a gastronomic storm to delight the tastebuds.

Co-organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Peter Knipp Holdings (PKH), the Singapore Food Festival 2008 will feature more than 40 events including the Opening Celebrations at Lau Pa Sat, A Dish for Every Wish at Suntec City, Seafood Weekend at Robertson Walk, The Sentosa BBQ, heritage trails, thematic food carnivals such as the Spice Odyssey Tale, Makan Classes and for the first time in Asia, a Major League Eating competition.

In 2006, food and beverage spending by visitors accounted for more than S$1 billion or about 12 per cent of overseas visitors’ total expenditure. Last year, over 460,000 people attended the Singapore Food Festival’s core events and thousands more visited the fringe events to savour the food promotions hosted by various dining establishments island-wide during the month-long Festival. Over 20 per cent of the attendees were tourists. The STB expects more locals and visitors to enjoy the dining festivities this year.

“Over recent years, Singapore cuisine, featuring Laksa, Satay and Hainanese Chicken Rice amongst others, has reached the far corners of the world with local street food even listed in the popular travel guide 1,000 Places To See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz. Through the STB’s efforts to promote local cuisine overseas, we hope that local must-try dishes will be inextricably linked to Singapore in the minds of diners worldwide.“ said Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Cluster Development, Tourism Shopping and Dining, STB. Noting that Singapore presents a host of restaurants, eateries and hawker centres which serve up a range of Peranakan, Chinese, Malay or Indian cuisine to whet every appetite and satisfy any craving, he added, “With so much variety to choose from, we have introduced The Singapore Food Sampler for visitors to taste more of the rich flavours that local cuisine offers. Once they discover their personal favourites, we hope that they will be irresistibly drawn to a full portion of seconds!”

The Singapore Food Sampler
The Singapore Food Sampler makes its debut this Singapore Food Festival. Visitors simply need to present their passports at the Singapore Visitor Centres and core event venues to receive Singapore Food Sampler redemption vouchers. These vouchers allow visitors to sample any three available must-try dishes at participating dining establishments in key tourist precincts for free. The Singapore Food Sampler provides visitors smaller portions so that they can sample even more of Singapore’s diverse “must-try” dishes. 

“Our single-dish meal culture, well represented by all of the “must-try” dishes, is unique in that it is not restricted by the time of the day.  We don’t just have bread or porridge for breakfast and we don’t have to wait till noon for a plate of fried carrot cake,” said Mr Peter Knipp, Managing Director of Peter Knipp Holdings, a food and event consultancy. 

This year, the Singapore Food Festival takes the love of food to a new dimension by presenting more interactive events and activities such as cooking classes and ethnic food tours for a complete food experience. Ethnic Food Tours will allow tourists to experience Singapore’s unique food culture available at participating ethnic districts. Budding chefs can try their hand at the various ‘Makan’ Classes available throughout the month from local desserts to ethnic delicacies.

Ethnic Food Tours
Foodies keen to have an in-depth culinary discovery of Singapore’s rich ethnic cuisines can take part in special food trails showcasing the varied and colourful delights available in the ethnic districts of Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam In addition, there are special daily tours to Little India as well as Lau Pa Sat and Chinatown for tourists to have unique personal experiences of these food haunts that are favoured by Singaporeans.

‘Makan’ Classes
‘Makan’ classes and cooking workshops are back by popular demand at this year’s Festival, highlighting “Old Fashion Cakes”, “Claypot Favourites” and “Some Forgotten Dishes”. For the first time, these will be held at Lau Pa Sat with several renowned Singaporean chefs and local food operators providing culinary enthusiasts an opportunity to pick up some skills and tips to prepare these mouth-watering local delights.  Other ‘Makan’ classes are also available at At-Sunrice (Fort Canning Park), Cookery Magic (Jalan Tembusu) and Chef’s Secret (Bukit Merah).

“We also hope to promote Singaporean cuisine and hawker food to the younger generation through activities like the culinary classes, where they will learn from the experts and appreciate our single-dish meal culture” said Mr Peter Knipp, Managing Director of Peter Knipp Holdings.

City Gas, which is supporting the Lau Pa Sat ‘Makan’ classes, is a primary partner of the Singapore Food Festival for the fourth year running. Its President & CEO, Mr Ng Yong Hwee, said: “City Gas is proud to be the primary partner of this iconic food festival, where great food is presented to both Singaporeans and our friends from overseas. We inaugurated The City Gas Singapore Chef Awards at last year’s Festival.  This year, we will introduce a new category for junior chefs, aged below 23 years and hope to nurture the next generation of budding chefs, as well as find the next “Singapore dish” through this competition.”

Major League Eating
The Major League Eating competition makes its debut at the Singapore Food Festival 2008. Singapore is the only Asian nation lined up in this year’s calendar and will host the event showcasing competitive eating at its best. Held on 12 July, Robertson Walk will host the Singapore leg of the Major League Eating which will feature contestants battling for the right to compete with the World Champion on 27 July.

Food Stamps
For the first time, the Singapore Post will introduce stamps featuring some of Singapore’s must-try dishes such as the Singapore Laksa, Roti Prata and Satay and allow visitors to take home a collectible memento of their gastronomic adventures during the Singapore Food Festival.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.