Gordan Ramsay 1, Singapore Hawkers 2
Food watchers & Singapore Food lovers would no doubt know by now that Gordan Ramsay only won 1 out of 3 food challenges, namely Chilli Crab. He lost the Chicken Rice & Laksa challenges.
What interests me were the results. Gordan Ramsay was given 1 day to learn to make these 3 dishes. Yet the margins were narrower than I expected for 2 of the challenges.
Chilli Crab – Won by 5%
Chicken Rice – Lost by 6%
Laksa – Lost by 19%
From my experience, it takes time to master a dish + endless trials and errors to compensate for the difference in the taste of ingredients.
Gordan Ramsay probably never used our herbs & spices so it’ll take some time to understand how they affect the chemistry of the food & other spices they’re paired with.
Yet, he managed such a small margin of lost for Chicken Rice. I think it boiled down to the Chilli because it probably doesn’t take much to master the poultry for a master chef like Ramsay. The rice is quite straight forward actually.
The biggest margin of lost was in the Laksa challenge which isn’t surprising because Nonya/Peranakan food are notoriously labourious to make & difficult to master. The Laksa paste is probably the biggest headache for him. The mix of herbs & spices + processing the dried shrimps must be very precise. So it’s no surprise the margin of lost was 19%.
Given more time (maybe 1 week), I’m pretty sure Ramsay will win the Chicken Rice challenge.
The Laksa will be a harder nut to crack because 328 Katong Laksa is already very good. Mr Koh of 328 Katong Laksa said it best, “I feel really happy to have won while representing Singapore. Chef Ramsay did not have a basic understanding of laksa but he was here only one day. Maybe if he had more time he would cook better than us.”
In this challenge, the winners are actually the losers. Mr Ang of Jumbo Seafood just need to adjust his recipe a little (or a lot) depending on how different the 2 challengers tasted. Ramsay obviously have a newfound respect for Singapore food now & who knows where that’ll lead.