Celeb Chef Wolfgang Puck Visits S’pore, Tries Making Yong Tau Foo & Carrot Cake In Chinatown

Celeb Chef Wolfgang Puck Visits S'pore, Tries Making Yong Tau Foo & Carrot Cake In Chinatown

Wolfgang Puck Tries Making Yong Tau Foo & Carrot Cake At Chinatown Hawker Centre

Those who keep up with the culinary scene would be familiar with Wolfgang Puck.

The renowned celebrity chef has top restaurants all over the world, including CUT and Spago at Marina Bay Sands here in Singapore.

Oh, and he has also been the official caterer for the Oscars’ Governors Ball for almost three decades.

Source: Valerie Macon/AFP via South China Morning Post

However, it looks like the 73-year-old is just as comfortable behind a humble hawker stall stove.

During his recent visit to town, Mr Puck got to enjoy a wide range of local dishes. He even had the opportunity to try cooking some of them

Wolfgang Puck samples Singapore fare at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

On Tuesday (4 Oct), food influencer Veronica Phua was invited by Greg Bess, the Executive Chef of CUT and Spago, to take Mr Puck and fellow legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten on a little tour to sample some hawker fare.

Mr Puck had apparently been in town to attend the Milken Institute Asia Summit and the Singapore Grand Prix.

Speaking to MS News, Ms Phua revealed she originally wanted to bring Mr Puck and Mr Vongerichten to a hawker centre in the heartlands.

However, they only had around two hours to spare, so she chose a more central location — Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, which she also picked for its “more traditional” vibe and charm.

wolfgang puck chinatown

Image by @phili_roll on Instagram, courtesy of Veronica Phua

And the two culinary icons loved it, to say the least.

Ms Phua reports that they were both very fascinated and kept taking pictures, asking lots of questions, and chatting with the hawkers.

wolfgang puck chinatown

Image by Tetsu Yahagi, courtesy of Veronica Phua

After that, the group settled down at a table for an absolute feast.

“We had satay, Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck, nasi padang from Mum Daughter Kitchen, Hawker Chan’s soy sauce chicken, black and white carrot cake, fried Hokkien mee, oyster omelette, and claypot turtle soup,” Ms Phua recalled.

Image by @phili_roll on Instagram, courtesy of Veronica Phua

In case anyone’s wondering, Mr Vongerichten prefers the white carrot cake while Mr Puck likes the more caramelly taste of the black version.

We guess the debate on which variation is superior rages on.

Wolfgang Puck tries making carrot cake & yong tau foo

It looks like Mr Puck wasn’t content with just eating the hawker food — he had to try making it himself.

According to Ms Phua, the cooking part happened “very spontaneously”.

“I never expected Chef Wolfgang to want a hands-on experience!” she laughed.

wolfgang puck chinatown

Image by Tetsu Yahagi, courtesy of Veronica Phua

Ms Phua said that Mr Puck had spotted the owner of the yong tau foo stall stuffing fish paste into bitter gourd slices.

This captured his interest, and he quickly whipped out his phone to take photos and videos of her at work.

Image courtesy of Veronica Phua

“The next thing I knew, she had handed him her knife and he was trying it out too!” Ms Phua exclaimed. “It was quite shocking because I did not expect that to happen.”

Image by Tetsu Yahagi, courtesy of Veronica Phua

The stall owner “approved” Mr Puck’s handiwork, by the way. Could this be a sign that A-listers might be munching on young tau foo-inspired hours d’oeuvres at next year’s Academy Awards after-party? g

Mr Puck didn’t stop there.

Over at the carrot cake stall, he was recording a video of the owner frying the dish when he suddenly said, “I think I can do this!”

Again, before Ms Phua knew what was happening, Mr Puck had “somehow persuaded” the owner to pass him the two spatulas and he quickly got to work.

Image courtesy of Veronica Phua

This time, however, Ms Phua quipped that the stall owner seemed “nervous” that Mr Puck would “ruin the order”.

“But he only did it for a few seconds,” she explained. “I think he just wanted to hear the sound of the spatulas scraping against the wok, which isn’t something you often get in western cooking.”

A very special experience

It certainly isn’t every day that we get to witness a famous chef who regularly feeds the world’s biggest stars hanging out in such humble surroundings.

This just proves how much our local hawker culture deserves to be recognised all over the world.

We hope to see Mr Puck return to our sunny shores again very soon to try even more local specialities.

If you had a chance to take him on a foodie tour, where would you go? Let us know in the comments.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image by Tetsu Yahagi & courtesy of Veronica Phua.

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