In a remarkable feat, Singapore Hawkers narrowly beat celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in the local food challenge which took place at Newton Food Centre, Singapore, on Sunday.
Ramsay, famous for his masterful cuisines and his fiery temperament on contestants of reality shows, was made to bite humble pie by his Singaporean counterparts in the cuisine challenge.
The challenge titled 'Singapore vs Gordon Ramsay' had three hawkers - Ang Kiam Meng of Jumbo Seafood, Ryan Koh of 328 Katong Laksa and Madam Foo Kui Lian of Tian Tian Hainanese of the Newton Food Centre, against Ramsay. The three had been picked by the public through an online poll.
The challenge presented the best preparation of local dishes - chilli crab, chicken rice and laksa, between the hawkers and the British chef.
Close to 1000 people gathered at the venue on Sunday which first saw Ramsay winning over Ang Kiam Meng of Jumbo by 5 percent votes for his pleasing Chilli Crab.
However, the multi-starred chef failed to impress in the rest two categories of laksa and chicken rice by 19 per cent and 6 percent, respectively, from contestants Ryan Koh (328 Katong Laksa) and 64-year-old Foo Kui Lian (Tian Tian Hainanese).
Such was the craze of the public that people were seen assembling in the fast food street as early as 1 am the night before.
The winners were decided from the 1000 strong people in a live poll, who had gathered around to give out 3,000 votes for the winning decision via text message.
For the par excellence chef it certainly was a surprising defeat since he holds a career record of 15 Michelin stars (hallmark of fine dining quality).
Ramsay, who has visited Singapore more than 20 times over the years, had met the fellow contenders before the challenge.
Asia One had quoted the Britisher praising the trio as saying, "These chefs (Hawkers) get their dishes absolutely right. We don't cook like that in Europe, and we don't have access to those chillies and flavours."
The all-geared-up chef had revealed his preparations for sticking to originality. "I'd be stupid to try and reinvent the wheel. I'll also cause a riot if I tried to come up with another version of chicken rice," he said.
"I'm going to focus on those elements and (I'm) not going to fancify with many levels of textures. I'm going to learn that chilli sauce - that blend of chilli, garlic and ginger."
The food challenge was organised by a local leading telecom company.