World Gourmet Summit honouree Loh Lik Peng says he’s not done yet
SINGAPORE, April 7 — In yet another night of anticipation, 32 outstanding individuals and companies, both established and emerging industry stars, were honoured at this year’s World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Awards of Excellence, which was held at One Farrer Hotel and Spa on Tuesday.
The awards were presented under five main categories: Chef Awards, Wine Awards, Industry Awards, Restaurant & Service Awards and Lifestyle Awards.
But it wasn’t just chefs and sommeliers who were in the spotlight: This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoured two recipients who both don’t cook for a living.
Hotelier-restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, chief executive of the Unlisted Collection, shared on Instagram how he was “feeling a little young to be getting a lifetime achievement award. But I really can’t complain.”
Unlisted Collection boasts a collection of design-driven boutique hotels and restaurant ventures across Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Hong Kong, Paris and London.
In an email interview with TODAY, the 43-year-old said: “I feel like this maybe should come when I am close to retiring. I think it’s a great affirmation of the work Unlisted Collection has done so far but I feel that the journey is also incomplete. We definitely want to do more and I hope that I have another ‘lifetime’ ahead of me.”
For now, though, his sights are set a little further afield. There’s not a lot of plans in Singapore, he said, but the company is planning to do more overseas.
“We just opened The Old Clare hotel (in Sydney) and her three restaurants and two bars, and that’s doing really well, so I think our focus this year will be more overseas than domestic.”
Lee Kum Kee’s group chairman Lee Man Tat, who is credited for leading the brand’s expansion and mission to promote Chinese cuisines worldwide, was the other honouree. The brand now produces and markets over 200 sauces and condiments to more than 100 countries. “The World Gourmet Summit is the ideal platform for us to show Lee Kum Kee’s extensive range and how its products play such an important role in enhancing dishes, whether they are Western or Asian,” said May Lim, its managing director, South-east Asia, Middle East and Africa.
At the WGS 20 Best Chefs event on April 16 and 17, which will feature masterclasses by local and international chefs, local chef John See will be presenting dishes that use Lee Kum Kee’s range of sauces, such as the sous-vide Kuhlbarra barramundi fillet topped with the brand’s Oriental XO sauce, and lemon-plum chocolate macarons featuring its lemon and plum sauces.
During the WGS awards, Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre his third Chef of the Year award, while Iggy’s Alan Au was named Sommelier of the Year and JAAN’s chef de cuisine Kirk Westaway was named Rising Chef of the Year.
New awards were also handed out. Gattopardo’s chef Lino Sauro and Summer Pavillion’s chef Siu Kong Cheung won the new Chef’s Choice Award in the Western and Asian category, respectively. Meanwhile, the Apprentice Chef of the Year went to At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy alumni Aaron Wong of Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, and Top Wines Sommelier Mentor Award went to Iggy’s Ignatius Chan. — TODAY