International culinary celebration

James Beard Foundation celebrates “Singapore’s Culinary Crossroads”

The James Beard Foundation's 30th anniversary gala will be held at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York City on Friday, November 11. (Jim, the Photographer, Flickr/Creative Commons)

NEW YORK — East will meet West when the James Beard Foundation (JBF) celebrates the multi-cultural cuisines of Singapore and the United States at the preeminent culinary organization’s 30th anniversary gala at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York City on Friday, November 11. This is the first time the James Beard Foundation is partnering with a presenting sponsor for the event, and this year’s theme,Singapore’s Culinary Crossroads, will feature award-winning chefs from Singapore who will combine creative talents with JBF Award winnerAlfred Portale, who sits on Singapore Airlines’ International Culinary Panel; chef, restaurateur, and television personality Cat Cora, whose holdings include Ocean Restaurant in Singapore. This once-in-a-lifetime evening, which will also feature host chef Robert Aikens and host pastry chefKyung Kim of the Rainbow Room, promises to be a unique, globe-spanning gastronomic gathering. Specialty cocktails will be created by Employees Only, the world-renowned cocktail bar that recently opened its second location in Singapore.

“Our gala is especially timely with the news surrounding the first White House state dinner for Singapore in more than three decades and the launch of Singapore’s inaugural Michelin Guide,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Featuring the best of the best chefs from Singapore, the evening’s 30th anniversary fundraiser will pay homage to the diverse and rich cuisines of both countries with a delectable fusion of East and West.”

Among the Singapore-based chefs featured are Cheryl Koh, who recently added the title of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2016 (as part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards) to her resume of accomplishments at Tarte and Les Amis; LG Han, chef and owner of Restaurant Labyrinth, who left a corporate banking job in 2012 to hone his fine-dining skills as an apprentice to globally-renowned chefs Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur, France), Tom Kerridge (The Hand & Flowers, UK), and Roberto Galetti (Garibaldi, Singapore); and Yew Eng Tong,  chef de cuisine at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora™, Singapore. In 2012, Yew edged out competitors from nine countries to take home the gold in the Asian qualifiers of the Bocuse d’Or competition and in January of 2015 led the Singapore team in the Bocuse d’Or Finale in Lyon to achieve 17th place in the overall world standing.

 “We are honoured that the James Beard Foundation has chosen Singapore as the first presenting partner of the JBF Gala, as this is testament to our vibrant dining landscape. To know Singapore is to understand our food scene and culinary culture. This is why the Singapore Tourism Board is thrilled to join forces with the James Beard Foundation to illustrate the breadth, depth and dynamism of Singapore’s diverse culinary offerings and bring to New York a creative and delectable exchange between top Singaporean chefs and top U.S. chefs,” said Kershing Goh, Regional Director, Singapore Tourism Board, Americas. “Our diverse food offerings are inspiration for the event and the partnership between our two brands. We are excited to show New Yorkers, through our food, why Singapore is worthy of a culinary journey.”

The 2016 JBF Gala event chairs are Henni and John Kessler; and Frederic and Robin Seegal, who will be heading up a special limited VIP experience that includes an exclusive kitchen tour, tasting and photo opportunity with the evening’s chefs. Silent and live auction packages will support the James Beard Foundation’s mission and programs to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.

The 2016 JBF Gala sponsors include presenting sponsor Singapore Tourism Board; and event sponsors Chatham Imports (with Crop Organic Vodka, Farmers Organic Gin, Michter’s American Whiskey for the evening’s cocktails), Gourmet Settings, Lavazza, and Saratoga Spring Water Co.

For more information about the JBF Gala: Singapore’s Culinary Crossroads, visit Tickets to the event are priced at $750 for JBF members/$1,000 for the general public and can be reserved by calling 212-627-2308. For table purchases, please contact Kris Moon at or 212-627-5252.

–James Beard Foundation

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