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Singapore Food Lovers the Ultimate Winners in Singtel Hawker Heroes Challenge

Singapore, 7 July 2013 – Lovers of Singapore hawker fare were the ultimate winners as three of Singapore's most popular hawkers (Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, 328 Katong Laksa and Jumbo Seafood Restaurant) squared-off against internationally renowned Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay in the highly anticipated Singtel Hawker Heroes culinary challenge.

The contest was held at Newton Food Centre where more than 1000 members of the public, including excited Singaporeans who started queuing from 1am, sampled chicken rice, laksa and chili crab prepared by Chef Ramsay and the hawkers. 

Diners were then asked to vote for their preferred version of each dish. The Singapore hawker heroes narrowly edged-out Chef Ramsay in the live poll by 6 per cent of the total vote in the closely contested battle. In each dish category, Tian Tian Chicken Rice won by 6 per cent, 328 Katong Laksa by 19 per cent and Chef Ramsay’s version of Chilli Crab triumphed by 5 per cent of the vote. 

Mr Allen Lew, Singtel’s CEO, Group Digital Life, said: “At Singtel, we seek to bring joy to our customers through amazing experiences. We are thrilled to bring Chef Ramsay to Singapore for a contest that rallied the nation and showcased the very best of Singapore hawker cuisine.  Food is such an important part of our way of life. Through the Singtel Hawker Heroes Challenge, we hope to inspire the next generation of chefs to carry on our nation's proud hawker traditions.” 

Chef Ramsay said: “It’s been phenomenal to see how passionate the people of Singapore are about their hawker fare. The hawkers have impressed me with their ability to whip-up dishes with such amazing flavours. Now that I’ve experienced the best of Singapore cuisine, I can say without doubt the people of Singapore have much to be proud of - authentic, genuine, simple food, that is of amazing quality and full of flavour.”

Mdm Foo Kui Lian, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, said: “I enjoyed teaching Chef Ramsay the art of making chicken rice. Although his version was very unique, it was still very appetising. The Singtel Hawker Heroes challenge was a wonderful celebration of the good food we have here in Singapore.”  

Mr Ang Kiam Meng, Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, said: “The contest was a great way to recognise the skills and talent of our local hawkers. Chilli crab is an iconic Singapore dish that takes many years to master and we are glad that it was featured in the contest. We are confident that the people of Singapore will continue to support our hawkers and keep our unique food culture alive.” 

Mr Ryan Koh, 328 Katong Laksa, said: “We are grateful to our friends, family and supporters for voting for us, and to Singtel for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge a world famous chef like Gordon Ramsay. It was a truly amazing experience!” 

The three hawkers were chosen out of a group of 12 popular hawkers to take on Chef Ramsay through an online poll that sparked national interest. More than 2.5 million votes were cast over 8 days, with the three hawkers garnering approximately 320,000 votes each.