Norwegian Seafood Dinner with 960 Guests in Singapore

It was another milestone for Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS) when it, in its 17 year of operation, co-hosted the highly successful 2010 edition of the traditional seafood dinner with the Royal Norwegian Embassy. No less than 960 guests attended the sold out event on Friday 5 March, with the Minister of Trade & Industry of Norway, Mr Trond Giske, as special guest. The highly impressive and sumptous feast was held at the Raffles Ballroom where the seafood on offer was specially flown in from Norway and skillfully prepared by Norwegian master chefs. 
Chef Geir Skeie, winner of the 2008 Bocuse d’Or and who was already on a visit to Singapore, and the unique foursome of Norwegian chefs that make up the Flying Culinary Circus provided the tasty buffet with their specially created dishes.
The Flying Culinary Circus, as team of four chefs from Norway who travel the world to cook at the world’s most exclusive events and destinations, were also in Southeast Asia to prepare a dinner in Kuala Lumpur during the recent Royal Norwegian visit to Malaysia.
The Norwegian Export Council for Fish (EFF) and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) co-sponsored the event which is now in its 11th year. Frank Nesheim, from Snorre Food Singapore was overseeing the 40 chefs that prepared the sumptuous 200-metre long buffet!
Norwegian Blue mussel and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Salmon “Gravlax” 2010 Potato omelette, and Slow Cooked Norwegian Cod Fish were among the delicacies the famous chefs had conjured up for the menu.
“The Norwegian Seafood Dinner is a traditional annual event that takes place late February or early March, meant as an opportunity to do marketing of Norwegian Seafood, and for the Norwegian Business Community to invite their guest and show their appreciation of the Singaporean Business Community and their strong link to Norwegian Companies. It is especially the Maritime and Oil and Gas clusters who have used this,” said Signe A. Engli, the Executive Director of NBAS to ScandAsia.
“The Norwegian Seafood Dinner is NBAS’ and the Norwegian Embassy’s most popular event during the year. When we opened up for booking of tables among the NBAS members on a Thursday afternoon, the tables were all booked up by Monday the following week. We could have sold the double amount of tables looking at the number of companies that tried to book tables after we were ’sold out’. The NBAS members book their tables and invite guests among their customers. The Singaporeans, who are really into food,  really love this event as the food is extraordinary both in taste and to look at.”
“The main attraction during the dinner was the food; this is something that the Singaporean are able to appreciate.  Local artists worked on the ice sculptures over 5 days in order to achieve the fantastic displays at the event,” said Signe.

NBAS Award
And having matured to a large assocation (152 Norwegian member companies) NBAS this year surprised the attending guests with the introduction the NBAS Award.
This Award is to recognise an individual or a company who has distinguished themselves and has demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing the business relations between Norway and Singapore. The candidate will have demonstrated a willingness to share knowledge and network of contacts so that other companies could also benefit from and contribute towards the enhancement of Norway – Singapore bilateral business relations.
The Award was presented to Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corp and also Chairman of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, Singapore Petroleum Company Ltd, Singapore Refining Company Pte Ltd and SMRT Corporation Ltd.
He is well-respected within the maritime and oil & gas fratenity in the region and in Norway and among many other positions the Chairman of Det Norske Veritas South East Asia Committee.
Besides his contributions towards the bi-lateral relations within the maritime and oil & gas sectors he has also been very supportive when it comes to seminars and delegations organised by Norway.
“Choo Chiau Beng is a man with an impressive list of achievements – local as well as international. He has been a close friend of Norway for many years, and has been instrumental in making the maritime and offshore sector such a dynamic bilateral success,” said Minister Mr Giske when handed over the award.
“Norwegian company representatives have found his door to be open; whether for discussions of prospects and possibilities, or to invitations to conferences and workshops. He has been a willing host for visiting delegations, sharing his time, his experience and his goodwill. Mr Choo, you are truly a worthy first recipient of this award, and I am pleased to be able to present it to you on behalf of the Norwegian Business Association.”
This year, guests were also treated to a special pre-dinner concert by Singaporean jazz legend Jimmy Monteiro and visiting Norwegian jazz pianist Bodil Niska to start the party.

Giske’s Singapore Visit
During his 2-day visit to Singpore Innovation Norway, The Norwegian Embassy and NBAS also organized relevant meetings for Minister Giske. One of the highlights for the local maritime businesses was the Maritime roundtable meeting, which saw an opportunity for local Norwegian companies to meet up with the minister and exchange views on topics such as: stable framework conditions for the Norwegian shipping sector; current and future directions for private ownership in Norway; employee mobility in a global business, practical solutions needed; the future of the Norwegian Maritime knowledge HUB; and the Shipping clusters role in environmental protection.
“A visit to Singapore was long overdue from the Mininstry of Trade and Industry taken Singapores positions within the maritime and offshore cluster in Norway. Mr. Giske and his entourage from the Ministry and Norwegian industry had useful meetings and learned about the importance of SIngapore to the Norwegian Maritime Industry and Offshore Cluster. In addition they visited the REC factory and companies within solar energy is as a growing edition to the Norwegian Business Cluster in Singapore,” the Executive Director of NBAS also reported.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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