Friday, March 28, 2014

World Gourmet Summit: Chef Kenny Fu

This year's World Gourmet Summit in Singapore is showcasing only two chefs who specialize in Chinese cuisine, among a long list of other chefs who are presenting Western menus.  Chef Kenny Fu from Beijing's My Humble House is one of them.  He is serving a special menu for lunch and dinner at Singapore's Tunglok Signatures until Sunday 30 March.  Make your reservations here.  See the full menu here.

(Translation from Chinese:
My recommended dishes include today's first course of BBQ Fois Gras with Raspberry Macaron Sauce, Steamed Cod Fillet with special Taiwanese fermented soybeans, and my signature Zhajiang Noodles.)

Celebrity Chef Kenny Fu is not just the face of modern cuisine in China, he is also a chef for celebrities. Personalities like Jay Chou and Christy Chung have dined at Chef Fu's table. Striving for innovation, Chef Fu constantly challenges the boundaries of Chinese cooking and frequently travels to understand how modern cuisine is interpreted globally. A familiar face on TV, Chef Fu is a regular on Chinese television programmes. He recently defeated Michelin starred Chef Jean Jacques from France and Enrico Bartolini from Italy in a CCTV-televised chef competition. Chef Fu is currently Cuisine Consultant to My Humble House in Beijing, China.

Here are my favorites from the lunch menu.

Steamed Cod with Taiwan’s Fermented Soybean at 85℃

These beans are specially from Taiwan, lending a lovely smoky note to the marinade.

Quick-fried Australia Beef Cubes with Golden Garlic, Dried Chili, Sichuan Peppercorn

On first bite, I found the dish rather ordinary. But as I went through, taking mouthfuls of each of the ingredients into one bite, the textures and flavors came together in an addictive way. The fried dried chilis were particularly delectable with each crunch.

Chef Kenny’s Signature Zhajiang Noodle

If there's only one dish you can try on Chef Kenny's menu, it should be this dish. Only 20 servings are available per day at his restaurant in Beijing. The noodles are painstakingly handmade by Kenny Fu himself every day. Over lunch, he quipped, "Two of my cooks who were in charge of preparing these noodles quit on me, because of the laborious work it required every single day. These take a lot of energy to make."  The black bean sauce itself requires an additional 4 hours to prepare.  The long hours are well worth it though, because I am far from the only diner who gurgled moans of approval as we ate through the dish.  Chinese celebrities such as actress Zhang Ziyi has often claimed this to be one of her favorite dishes in the city.

Jasmine-flavoured Valrhona Chocolate Mousse

This splendid ruby sphere garnered a few gasps of delight.  A simple concept, but no less a joy as we cracked through the candied shell to reveal the luxurious Valrhona Chocolate Mousse that lay within.  Each of these spheres require an hour each to prepare. Similar to glass blowing, the candied substance requires careful execution from handling to timing to temperature control as it is blown into shape.

Make your reservations here.  See the full menu here.

TungLok Signatures – Taste of Tradition
Orchard Parade Hotel #02-18
1 Tanglin Road Singapore 247905
Tel: +(65) 6834 0660

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How F&B Tycoons Stay Lean: VibroGym

location: Lifestyle Fitness, Sheraton Towers
photography by Adam Tun-Aung, unless stated otherwise

Fitness and Losing Weight in Singapore

Currently, I'm feeling pretty good.

There was something I noticed as I began my training over the weeks with Alvin.  Many of his regular clients I'd often see are doctors and food/drink industry related CEOs.  It seems, Lifestyle Fitness is where they come to stay lean despite their work.

So, you've heard that I've been getting healthier and more active again (read: Getting in Shape as a Food Writer).  It's been a while now, and I'm happy to report a good level of maintenance going on so far.  There were weeks where I'd drop so much weight with nice defined abs to match, but then it would balloon back again the moment I stopped my unrealistic Spartan routine.  I've learned a lot about my body over the past year.

But what's a fitness post without "Before" Photos?

Here's a photo I took with #LiveFitter at the beginning of my journey. 
(photo by Soon Tong, Calibre Pics)

What's funny is how difficult it was to find any full length shots. I didn't really want to see myself, so I never saved any photos.

A work in progress

They say "Abs are made in the kitchen," as in getting lean is 80% about your diet, and 20% about your fitness.  But when you're training someone who's in the food business, it's hard to dictate what s/he should and shouldn't eat....  Alvin Tan of Lifestyle Fitness offers a customized nutritional program for each of his clients, as well as a private chef on staff that can prepare your meals for you daily.

However, my "challenge" was about making progress without restricting my diet too much.  My work simply doesn't allow for too much restriction all the time.  In fact, Alvin wanted to help prove that abs can also be made in the gym.

Alvin put me on a VibroGym training program. VibroGym contracts your muscles 30-40 times per second.  In just 4 minutes, you will achieve 8000 - 9000 muscles contractions, meaning your workout is accelerated (doing more in less time). VibroGym generates vibrations that are transferred to your body.  Technically, within 10 minutes, you can complete effective training of your entire body since Vibro Training stimulates the whole muscular system at once and not one muscle after another.  But despite that, Alvin made sure I never do anything short of an hour a day.

This technology is similar, but much more advanced than the popular PowerPlates programs.  PowerPlates machines are now constructed in China, using older technology with slower and wider vibrations that might be potentially damaging to your body with prolonged excessive use. VibroGym equipment, which is only built in the Netherlands, enables upward and cleaner vibrations throughout your muscular system.

Alvin Tan is one of the leading trainers in vibration training in Asia, specializing in specific weight loss programs and injury rehabilitation. The professionally certified fitness coach, therapist and nutritionist comes from 17 years of experience in the fitness industry. 

Your average sit-up or plank suddenly becomes 5xs more intense.  The machine looks harmless, but I dare you to try.

VibroGym also helps with flexibility.  I've seen skeptics who couldn't touch their toes get on the machine, and within 60 seconds (no exaggeration), their palms were to the floor. The vibrations of the device cause stretch reflexes in tensed muscles.

Effects of VibroGym training:
Reduction in high blood pressure
Reduction on pain & fatigue
Reduction in cellulite
Burns Fat Effectively

Increase in flexibility
Increase in Metabolic rate
Increase in muscular strength, endurance, power, and size
Improvement in joint stability

Proof is in the pudding, and the journey isn't even over yet.
Contact exclusive professional trainer and nutritionist Alvin Tan of Lifestyle Fitness at Sheraton Towers, Singapore for an appointment—mention Gastronommy.   


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