Men at work, so Mum's not cooking today

Men at work, so Mum's not cooking today

Armed with aprons, ladles and pots, about 200 men yesterday showed that they were perfectly at home in front of a stove in a cook-off.

And given that today is Mother's Day, some were cooking for their mums.

The winning dish in the first round was a spicy chicken rendang with mango salsa, served with a Japanese rice croquette in peanut satay sauce.

The meal was prepared by chef Muhammad Aslam AB Hadi, who based it on his grandmother's time- honoured recipe.

"It came from her, to my mum, and then to me," the 27-year-old said. "My mum cooks this dish every Hari Raya."

His mother, 59-year-old Farida Mohd Ismail, said: "My son has been very interested in cooking since he was two years old, and chicken rendang is a family favourite."

Brothers Ezekiel and Joshua Ho, meanwhile, were preparing boiled prawns with mayonnaise as a practice run for Mother's Day today.

"It's a surprise for our mother," said Ezekiel, 15. "She doesn't know that we're here."

Organised by the People's Association, the men-only cooking competition marks the start of 50.Taste - a food celebration project to commemorate Singapore's Jubilee year.

The 50.Taste programme will include more than 250 cooking classes, where participants can learn to cook hawker favourites like chilli crab or "forgotten foods" such as wormwood leaf cakes.

The celebrations were officially launched by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also an MP for Tampines GRC.

"Singaporeans love food, and it is wonderful to bring Singaporeans to eat, to cook together, and to enjoy our local food heritage," he said.


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