Monday, July 08, 2013


I read the newspapers today which carry reporting of the win by Singapore’s Hawkers against Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay in yesterday’s Hawker Heroes competition. Singapore’s Hawkers won two of the three dishes in the competition with Gordon Ramsay winning the hearts of the 1,000 voters for his chilli crabs dish. Though the verdict is that Singapore Hawkers have won, but if we are to look at the winning margin of 66.6%, we will know that this winning margin is similar to the winning margin we see in the General Election, after which a “new normal” of politics (i.e. more bottom-up initiatives rather than top-down initiatives) are seen.

My question is whether Singapore’s hawkers have really won last night, knowing the fact that Gordon Ramsay has won in the Singapore’s most favourite dish and the winning margin is only 66.6%? My other question is whether a New Normal for Singapore’s Hawkers will be heralded with the defeat of Singapore’s Chilli Crabs to Gordon Ramsay? Another question is how will our international standing of Chilli Crabs in the world be next? All these are questions that the MCCY, Singapore Tourism Board and NEA (overseeing the Hawker Centres) must collectively look at else we may see Singapore’s hawkers becoming demoralized by Gordon’s win.

Anyway, brushing the 66.6% winning margin apart, we know that for Singapore and Singaporeans, a win is to be in the top places of international scorecards or to achieve 100% in any test or competition.

With the aforementioned mindset, it is not surprising if others including myself view yesterday’s result as more of a win for Gordon than for Singapore. I am not sure whether the authorities here will be running the video recording of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking of the Chilli Crabs and have each and every cooking action of the chef analysed in order to decipher how he could win by around 5% in just a matter of a few days’ learning of the Chilli Crabs.

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