28-year-old Chef Neo Poh Boon from Jaan has emerged the winner of the 6th Otto Weibel & Norwegian Salmon Young Chefs Competition, which saw 15 young chefs from Singapore’s top restaurants pitting their culinary skills in an intense three-hour cook-off on19 November.
Wowing the judges with his impressive spread of Norwegian Seafood dishes, Chef Poh Boon won a one-week internship tour to Norway, where he will get the chance to not only work directly under one of Norway’s celebrated Michelin-starred chefs, but also to get up close to Norwegian aquaculture practices with visits to breath-taking Fjords to witness salmon farming in the cold, clear waters of Norway.
Chef Poh Boon’s creations exemplified the culinary versatility of fresh Norwegian seafood and complemented the seafood with a creative play on ingredients.
The main course of Salmon Romanesco, which Honorary President Mentor and judge Chef Otto Weibel thought was executed exceptionally well and cooked to perfection, contained buckwheat that added texture to the dish. The fish was accompanied with marinated quinoa, yoghurt and confit lemon that made the dish light and refreshing. Overall, Chef Otto thought that Chef Poh Boon presented a great balance of flavours and textures across all three dishes.
The contestants, all below the age of 32, hail from reputable leading restaurants across Singapore namely Anti:dote, Ash & Elm, Chef’s Table, Esquina, Fairmont Singapore, Jaan, Labyrinth, Ocean, Odette, Ola, Osteria Art, Pete’s Place, Sky on 57, Stellar at 1-Altitude and Waterboat House.
“Congratulations to Chef Poh Boon, who has certainly demonstrated not only great skill, but also a remarkable understanding of presenting fresh Norwegian produce in his winning dishes, and we look forward to broadening his culinary horizons with the exciting activities we have lined up for the trip to Norway,” said Mr Jon Erik Steenslid, Regional Director of Southeast Asia, Norwegian Seafood Council, one of the judges present at the competition.
“My deepest appreciation to all the finalists for their hard work, as well as their employers for recognising the importance of allowing their young talents to step up and participate in this competition,” he added.
Also gracing the panel of judges were respected figures from Singapore’s culinary scene, Chef Frédéric Colin of Bistrot Gavroche Sydney, Chef Edmund Toh, President of Singapore Chefs Association, and Chef Markus Dybwad from Norway, who is currently based in Singapore.
The competition was stablished by the Norwegian Seafood Council in the name of Chef Otto Weibel to honour his tireless work in mentoring young culinary talents, aiming to promote Norwegian seafood among young, aspiring and upcoming chefs in Singapore and to support these talents in expanding their knowledge and culinary experience. The competition is hosted by the Norwegian Seafood Council, supported by the Singapore Chefs Association and co-hosted by ITE College West.
Source: Norwegian Seafood Council