Hungarian chef and food expert Mr Csaba Harmath working his magic. Photo: Sport Singapore
Over 20 Team Singapore athletes battled it out in a Masterchef-style competition recently, all in an attempt to impress some special guests with their culinary skills.
One of them was Hungarian chef and food expert Mr Csaba Harmath - who was here in Singapore for a four-day long World Gourmet Summit. Chef Csaba made his final stop at the Singapore Sport Institute's (SSI) Nutritional Lab last evening, as he shared about Hungarian cuisine with our local athletes, tips to make the best goulash, and finally, sent our local athletes on their way to making their very own version of the classic Hungarian stew.
The athletes were tasked to make their very own version of the classic Hungarian stew. Photo: Sport Singapore
With the guidance of the sport dietitians and Chef Csaba himself, the athletes were given an hour to prepare paprika chicken thigh goulash to later present to a panel of judges in a blind taste test. With no time to spare, the athletes started slicing and dicing, turning up the heat with a spirit of competition.
The judging panel consisting of Chef Csaba himself, the Ambassador of Hungary to Singapore Dr. István Szerdahelyi, the embassy's Head of Mission Oliver Fodor, Head Canoe Coach of the Singapore Canoe Federation Balazs Babella and Head of Sports Nutrition Dr Richard Swinburne, were treated to a sensory adventure as they tasted the teams' final dishes, assessing both the presentation and taste of the food.
Chef Csaba sharing a light moment with the athletes in the midst of creating their dishes. Photo: Sport Singapore
While the panel picked out their favourite bowl of goulash, everyone turned out to be winners as they came together for dinner, enjoying their own stews along with a number of other delicious Hungarian dishes prepared by the SSI Nutrition Team and the chef, including pea soup and crepes with chocolate sauce.
"It was really fun. I love Hungarian food because it's savoury, hearty, but also simple and homey all at once," says TeamSG wrestler Timothy Loh, who himself had lived in Hungary for four months. "We do so much sports that it's nice to do something different like this. It's fun to get to mingle around with other athletes. Plus, we're all so competitive."
"The contest turned out better than I expected actually. I thought I chose an easy dish to prepare, but it seemed that it wasn't," said Chef Csaba. "But I loved that they followed all the instructions, and some of them even added their own touch like fried chicken skin and toasted garlic to give depth. I hope that this dish is something that they will cherish."