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Crème de la Crème

Profile photo of Jou Pabalate

Jou Pabalate

Regional Editorial Manager at Destination Riyadh

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Destination goes on indulgent odyssey in Singapore to discover the wonders of European cream.


Every pastry chef is different. Each one has a unique style of his or her own—ideas, techniques, and whatnot are as varied as they come. However, when it comes to using the ingredients, there is a consensus. Culinary masters agree that the use of fresh high quality dairy products is essential to making the finest desserts.singapore-creamofeurope-september-2017-courtesy4

To help us understand the delicate beauty of European cream, Destination was whisked away to Singapore. There, renowned pastry chefs from different countries convened at the At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy for the La Crème de la Crème pastry event.

The three-day gastronomic adventure successfully showcased the superiority of European cream. Ten International chefs, including Chef Mayada Badr from Saudi Arabia, were challenged to present their interpretation of this year’s theme: Blanc de Blanc (white on white). More than just a classic, white is, more than ever, in the spirit of time. It offers its own culinary range and proposes new gastronomic sensations – an invitation to the Chefs to use their pure imagination. The Chefs are given complete free reign to create absolute masterpieces using a combination of new and classic recipes, and traditional and contemporary baking techniques. The cream, which is the hero ingredient, remains as the integral element in each cake – discreet, glossy, unctuous, and reassuring.singapore-creamofeurope-september-2017-jp3

We witnessed in awe as the pastry chefs defined, reimagined, and ultimately created dreamy interpretations of the theme. They hustled and bustled in a kitchen that felt like an episode from Iron Chef.

Another highlight of this edition was a special workshop with one of Paris’ top pastry, Nicolas Bacheyre.  We were able to see how European cream is able to elevate every creation. Our senses were titillated – surrounded by the scent of fresh vanilla and visually captivated as Chef Nicolas showed us how he has mastered the use of cream.

More than just a classic, white is, more than ever, in the spirit of time.

More than just a classic, white is, more than ever, in the spirit of time.

European cream is instantly recognizable by its texture and highly developed aromas, characterized by its roundness, smoothness and a bright, fresh taste. Due to its high standards, authenticity and quality, European cream carries strong values that reflect the professionalism of the top pastry chefs, who are assured of the best quality. Through the workshop, we indeed saw the difference the choice of ingredient makes especially in a delicate culinary art such us pastries.

After two days of preparations  and for us, a journey of discovery, the international chefs presented their masterpieces during at Forlino. Their final recipes will published in an illustrated recipe book, which will be a training tool for students annual workshops.singapore-creamofeurope-september-2017-jp13

Needless to say, as much as we revelled in the stunning aesthetics of each dessert, we looked forward to indulging our palettes. Indeed, we were not disappointed. The complex techniques achieved flavors that take you through a process, others were surprises folded under cream that renders it simple yet elegant all at the same time.

The dessert of Chef Sarah Ni from China wowed us with its intricate concept behind her work. The five elements were aptly represented through varying layers and flavors — all coming together nonetheless with the finesse use of the cream. When it comes to gorgeous sweetness, Michelin star chef Nicolas Lambert created a pavlova that was insta-ready.

As always, we were impressed and left with a better understanding of fine ingredients and what Europe has to offer. But equally important perhaps is the gastronomic diplomacy that takes place through these events. The way European cream was adapted and honed by our star chefs to complement and in ways, infuse with their respective countries’ culture and palette is quintessential.

European cream and at that, the use of quality ingredients is not a practice or preference limited by geography. Rather, it is a universally accepted fact – top pastry chefs only use the best products to create the most wonderful desserts.

Chef Mayada’s “Huda”

We would have to say though that in terms of flavor, taste, and clever use of cultural elements (this always is a thumbs up in our books), Chef Mayada’s Huda is unforgettable, with its ice cream infused with hints of rosewater, a gahwa and halawa core that to this day, we’re still craving. It was a showstopper.

THE CHEFS singapore-creamofeurope-september-2017-courtesy2

  1. Mayada Badr (Saudi Arabia)
  2. Nicolas Lambert (Hong Kong)
  3. Nicolas Bacheyre (France)
  4. Julien Perrinet (Taiwan)
  5. Sarah Ni (China)
  6. Waddah Bou Saad (UAE)
  7. Cheryl Koh (Singapore)
  8. Talita Setyadi (Indonesia)
  9. Jewook Ko (South Korea)
  10. Paul Gardin (Malaysia)

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