Tuesday, March 31, 2015

World Street Food Congress 2015 at Bugis 8-12 April Brings Feasting and Action-focused Dialogue

It's here! The second World Street Food Congress (WSFC) is happening 8-12 April at the open green field opposite Tan Quee Lan Street and Bugis Junction, right on top of Bugis MRT.

So many of us love street food. It's arguably the most fascinating food culture in the world, with so many delicious treats miraculously dished out in humble settings, often without sophisticated kitchens or fancy high-end ingredients. Behind such dishes are skills honed over time, tenacious endurance of backbreaking hours, and a love of perfecting great food. But such taste epiphanies cannot be taken for granted; they need to be protected, promoted and passed on. This is what the World Street Food Congress aims to do.

It's got three core parts:


This is the fun part - feasting! There will be 23 stalls from 12 cities and 1 food truck run by US Top Chef winner. You can view the full hawkers profiles here:

Here are some highlights you can expect:

Soft Shell Crab with Three Dips - Chili Crab, Salted Egg Yolk, Black Pepper
Photo courtesy of Makansutra Singapore and World Street Food Congress 

From Keng Eng Kee, we have a fantastically convenient way to enjoy crab. Soft Shell Crab with Three Dips - Chili Crab, Salted Egg Yolk, Black Pepper. No messy crab shells to deal with!

Halal Satay Beehoon by Alhambra Padang Satay
Photo courtesy of Makansutra Singapore and World Street Food Congress 

The folks from Alhambra Padang Satay will present a halal version of the much loved Satay Beehoon, normally a Chinese dish.

Prawn Paste Chicken Burger with Sambal Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries
Photo courtesy of Makansutra Singapore and World Street Food Congress 

Hong Kong Street Chun Kee is going modern with Prawn Paste Chicken Burger with Sambal Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries.

Paul Qui, Winner of Top Chef Season 9, will bring Kinilaw (Filipino ceviche) and Chicken Inasal Taco with Fried Chicken Skin.

From far-flung Bolivia, where Claus Meyer is starting a social enterprise to eliminate poverty via deliciousness (what a fabulous idea!), we have Gustu Restaurant giving us a taste of antichuchos - meat and potatoes on a stick!

From Penang, there's this "Or Ba Cha" or black satay you just have to try!

This may look familiar, but it's no simple soto ayam. Pak Sadi assiduously blends milkfish and shrimp head flavours into the chicken stock. Here he is spooning out the fried shallots and powdered keropok (genius!) topping.

I'm so glad these guys are back! They were one of the tastiest items at the WSFC 2013! These guys have been dishing out amazing oyster omelette for 40 years in Thailand.

The Lechon Diva will be here too! The award-winning truffle paella lechon is a must-try.

Indonesia's most spicy grilled chicken from Lombok. This is SPICY TO THE MAX, so I hear! The fiery chili and sambal dressing is rumored to be so sharp and strong, it can "stop hurricanes", and he has been told not to tone it down for us meek-tongued Singaporeans and visitors.

Bon Chovie

Last but not least: Bon Chovie! Gosh, what a name for crispy fried anchovies! I want some right away.

This is by music veteran Renae Holland who first sold this at the famous flea market Smorgasbord in New York. It catapulted to superstardom, and gave self-taught chef Holland a globe-trotting career seeking more inspiration for imaginative seafod served curbside to hungry New Yorkers.

So you have to come and meet her. Love the tattoos!

And because it is Singapore's 50th birthday, we have:


The National Heritage Board will be launching an exhibition to showcase Singapore's food heritage and feature 50 uniquely Singaporean dishes and pop-up cooking demos, curated by Makansutra, as it travels around the island. So at the Jamboree, they will have a Singapore Pavilion with five stalls offering "Deliciously Singaporean" dishes.

Prices are kept as low as possible, starting from S$4.50 to over S$10 at most (hey, truffles aren't cheap).

Best news is - it's FREE ENTRY to the Jamboree!

So mark these dates and come down for the five-day feast!

JAMBOREE PROGRAM RUNDOWN (8th – 12th April 2015)

8th – 9th April 2015 (Wednesday – Thursday)
5pm- 11pm (Last order at 10:30pm)

10th April 2015 (Friday)
4pm- 11pm (Last order at 10:30pm)

11th – 12th April (Saturday – Sunday)
1pm -11pm (Last order at 10:30pm)

“Dai Pai Dong ”Street style cooking live demos daily from 6pm – 8pm
Live music available daily from 8pm – 10pm

Payment modes: - NETS FlashPay, NETS and/or Credit Card. You'll be glad it's cash-free! Also better for food-handling hygiene purposes.

Users will enjoy a 5% rebate for paying by NETS FlashPay at the event itself. A NETS FlashPay booth makes it easy for immediate top up and purchase.


Individual photos courtesy of Makansutra Singapore and World Street Food Congress

This is the powerful engagement part - where ideas and insights are exchanged, new skills learned, opportunities and partnerships realised.

This year the format has been changed to encourage discussion. Mornings will see panel discussions by renowned street food advocates, media and street vendors; the other half of the day is an open floor, town hall style discussion with the audience and delegates.

There is an amazing line-up of speakers including Claus Meyer, Ian Kittichai, Paul, Qui, Peter Lloyd, Stephen Werther, William Wongso, the New York University City Food Panel, and my wonderful friend and fellow Chief Chowzter Anton Diaz! Led by K.F. Seetoh of Makansutra who is also creator and curator of the WSFC, this hackathon is the first of its kind in the world.

Come hear among many topics:

- The plans for Bourdain Market, a Singapore-style hawker centre in the U.S. championed no less by avid foodie traveller Anthony Bourdain.

- What Indonesia is doing to preserve and promote their 600 year culinary heritage through Bango, a private enterprise

Selected delegates get 3 minutes on stage to pitch their ideas during the Pitch Box Session. This is where funding opportunities can be raised, new business ideas developed, issues resolved, partnerships established.

I am so looking forward to attending this part!


Beyond being a yardstick of comfort food excellence, the WSF awards not only reward but seeks to inspire a new order of the industry. Deserving individuals, organisations and cities that show leadership and skills in world heritage and street food culture will receive awards in 16 categories.

The WSFC is organised by Makansutra Singapore, and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

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