I had dinner with two Knights the other night. No, they weren’t wearing swords and shields. They weren’t wearing armour and we certainly weren’t seated at a round table. Nonetheless, my dining companions were Knights of the Realm (just not my realm). More specifically, they are Chevaliers, Ordre National du Merite (National Merit), awarded by the French President for their work in promoting (excellence in) French cuisine and culture overseas. I am very proud to have become friends with these two amazing men over the last decade here in Singapore–their new titles are well and truly deserved. And I was thrilled to attend the award ceremony, held late last year. But it also made me think about how we Singaporeans are honouring, or forgetting to honour, our own culinary heroes.
Over the past year, a number of our government agencies have banded together to articulate a vision for the future (and future promotion) of our local food scene. One of the identified strategies that I wholeheartedly support is the identification of local food heroes. Thing is, though, while the general idea of supporting local food heroes has been mooted, from what I understand, the mechanics of how to do this, and even who are our local food heroes, have yet to be worked out.