Gordon Ramsay loses 2 to 1 in a cook-off against local street vendors in a culinary contest in Singapore.
Full story: More than five-thousand people gathered to catch a glimpse of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in Singapore on Sunday (July 7) in a cooking competition with three local street food hawkers.
The star chef made three Singaporean signature dishes—chicken rice, chilli crab and a local spicy noodle soup called laksa—to win over a crowd of mostly local tasters.
A thousand tasters from the public judged and voted for their preferred version of each dish.
Singapore food lovers like teacher Rachel Chan were divided over which versions to choose during the judging.
[Rachel Chan, Teacher]: “I think both sides have equal chances, especially for the chilli crab and the chicken rice. There are good points of each dish, especially for the chilli crab—one is tangy and the other one is sweet — so it really depends on the eater’s preference.”
[Sean Lim, Student]: “I think so far I’m Team Gordon. I think the chilli crab is better, it has more flavour and it’s more spicy and I love spicy food.”
The result was a close one where Ramsay lost out 2 to 1 to the local hawkers.
Ramsay won in the chilli crab category trumping local favourite Mr. Ang Kiam Meng from Jumbo Seafood.
But he lost out in the chicken rice category to Mrs. Foo Kui Lian of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and in the laksa category to Mr. Ryan Koh of 328 Katong Laksa.
Ramsay had spent time over the past few days learning from the three local vendors in their respective categories.
[Gordon Ramsay, Chef]: “Do you know what? The real winners tonight are the Singaporeans. Where did I go wrong? I think for the laksa, I needed a little bit more coconut, a little bit more spice. It’s tough to get up to speed in 48 hours to how good these dishes are. But, for me, what I’m taking home is another confirmation to how good these hawkers food is and what it stands for.”
The celebrity chef known for his fiery temper in reality cooking shows was humble in defeat.
[Gordon Ramsay, Chef]: “Chefs are obsessed with other chefs beating them. But to see the generosity and the way they treated me inside their hawker stalls and I’m the disruption… so for them to still be that gratifying and tell me how to cook their food, honestly, it’s humbling. I mean really humbling.”
In June, two-point-five-million people had cast their votes to determine who were Singapore’s most popular hawkers to go up against Ramsay in the cooking competition.
HaHa and Reggae Skull are coming to Singapore for a fan meet (Photo courtesy of LEAP IMS)
Running Man host HaHa, also known as “Haroro” for his resemblance to Pororo the Penguin, used to be a playboy who continually confessed his love for pretty female guest stars.
But all that changed when he met and got engaged to South Korean singer Byul, whom he married earlier this year. Now a father-to-be, HaHa, 33, says his number one focus for the moment in on “working hard to be a good dad”.
The funnyman will be here in Singapore on 20 July for a fan-meeting at Zouk with his music partner and reggae singer, Skull.
Skull is known in both South Korea and the US for fusing reggae with his own Korean culture and singing in his own version of a Jamaican patois (slang). He is signed under Mariah Carey’s brother, Morgan.
The duo recently released a new single, “Rappa Muffin” and will be promoting it at the meet-and-greet session.
In an e-mail interview with Yahoo! Singapore, HaHa shares more about his personal life, the K-pop industry, and, of course, the wildly popular Running Man, which has become South Korea – and maybe Asia’s, No. 1 variety show.
HaHa the Family Man?
First up, we ask the newly minted family man HaHa about his upcoming fatherhood and marriage.
He won’t reveal if his baby is a boy or girl, saying that “it’s a secret” and that he’ll let us know when the baby is born, but is less coy when it comes to talking about his new wife.
“We were acquaintances for some time,” said Haha, “But I’ve always known that I would marry her eventually.”
That’s a big leap from being a “childish”, playful singer and rapper to down-to-earth Dad. How does he feel about the 180-degree transformation to his life?
“Actually, I’m still getting used to the fact that I am going to be a dad. When the baby’s born it will all seem more real,” said the German-born artiste.
“I am very nervous and working really hard to be a good dad – I am indeed pretty young at heart – I stopped maturing after 20, haha,” said HaHa candidly.
He is equally open about how his music career, which was his original passion, did not initially take off but has experienced renewed popularity since he started hosting Running Man, earning him thousands of new fans.
“I’ve won first place in a music programme before, but I didn’t make it big in the end. Some people in Korea don’t even know that I am a singer,” mused HaHa, whose music has strong Jamaican and Reggae influences, inspired by Bob Marley, and also led him to becoming friends with Skull.
Running Man used to be unpopular?
HaHa also shared that Running Man wasn’t always the crazily popular phenomenon it is today – in fact, together with the original cast members, HaHa went through some tough times which took a beating on his confidence and bonded them together.
“When Running Man was not popular in the beginning, we had many meetings to “console” each other,” reminisced HaHa.
“It was a first television show for Gary and Kwang Soo, so at first it took them some time to get used to it. We drank a lot together, I was single so we could hang out a lot too. I miss those days sometimes.”
He continues to stay close to the cast, especially MC Yoo Jae Suk, whom he describes as “my teacher, my role model and my brother, like a father to me.”
Singapore fans who live in hope that Running Man will one day shoot an episode on our sunny island – don’t give up.
“We are always ready (to come to Singapore to shoot). Personally, I hope that if we do a race in Singapore I would be the main character,” said HaHa.
“I want to have the opportunity to spend time with the fans and together with all the members, visit Singapore and meet you guys.”
In the meantime, hardcore Running Man fans can get their fix when Haha and Skull come on 20 July.
Also appearing at the fan meet will be DJ IT, who has worked with heavyweights in the Korean music scene like Lee Hyori, YG Family artistes, RAIN, Big Bang, and PSY.
Tickets to HaHa and Skull’s Singapore fan meet start from $88 for a regular category 2 ticket to $138 for a category 1 ticket which will include entry to an autograph session, a poster, and a photo taking opportunity.
The free-standing event starts at 7 pm, and tickets are available from EventClique at their website here -
Running Man to hold Fan Meeting in Singapore on 28th September!
The long-awaited fan meeting for the fans of Running Man – yes, the cast of the top variety Korean programme Running Man will be heading to Singapore in September!
Via omy, the Fan Meeting will be held at Marina Bay Sands on September 28th. The duration of the event will stretch over one and a half hours, and song-dance performances as well as fan interaction games will be prepared. It is also said that the cast who will be attending the Singapore Fan Meeting includes Kim Jong Kook, HaHa, Gary, Song Jihyo and there may be one more member to join them as well. Seems like a fan meet not to be missed!
Stay tuned to (x)clusive as we’ll update when more news is out!