The winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2022-23 in the regional final for Asia has been announced, and it’s Ian Goh.
Goh impressed the local judges – chefs Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn, Pichaya ‘Pam’ Utharntharm, Daniel Calvert, Vanessa Huang and Dave Pynt – with his dish, ‘Heritage Lamb’, at an event in Singapore, and will now go forward to represent the region at the Grand Finale in Milan.
Speaking about his dish, which also won the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award, voted for by FDL’s readers, Goh said: “This dish began with my love of lamb, and the hope to highlight my Hainanese heritage. Lamb has been a staple of the Hainanese diet (i.e. Dongshan lamb) and it is featured [here] alongside ingredients and techniques that link the East with the West. Taking inspiration from the spice route, also known as the maritime Silk Road, I have utilised spices such as cumin, fennel, Szechuan peppercorns and ginger, all of which were known and used in antiquity and traded in Asia.”
Other awards were given out during the event, including the S.Pellegrino Social Responsibility Award, which went to Xu Yu Chan for his dish, ‘Memories of Hometown Assam Laksa’.
“My favourite childhood dish is Assam laksa,” said Chan. “To me, the beauty of this dish is the combination of flaky fish melding together with the herbaceous, acidic, spicy, sweet, umami broth, with nuggets of larger-sized fish meat. My version of Assam laksa utilises homemade traditional rempah, enhanced with fish garum, fish-bone stock and laksa leaf oil, with a mosaic made of kingfish and farce, using the fish trimmings served with ginger flower sorbet and fish skin-yuba tuile, topped with native herbs and salsa.”
Yi Chung Chiu, representing Taiwan, was awarded the Acqua Panna Connection in Gastronomy Award for his dish, ‘The Grace of the Tibetan Forest’.
“I consider that the food with genuine sentiments is the most delicious, but at the same time, the most challenging to make – the cuisine that tells a story,” said Chiu. “Through my cuisine, I want to share with people the story weaved by my experience of travelling, precious memories, and the island that has nurtured me and raised me up – Taiwan. I wish my guests, by eating the warm delicacies, can be moved and realise that their days can also be pleasant and heart-warming.”