SINGAPORE - How often does one get to geek out over your favourite movie or movie character?
Not frequently enough.
Which is why Miss Gillian Ang hopes the upcoming food event Panem Forever will be a fantastic opportunity for The Hunger Games fans to get together and spend the night talking about all things related to the popular young adult film franchise.
Miss Ang, 29, along with Mr Nicholas Yong, are founders of Geek Crusade, a local pop culture website.
Panem Forever marks the second themed dinner organised by Geek Crusade.
The duo held a Game Of Thrones (GOT) dinner called Welcome To King's Landing in April, which saw 80 diners feasting on a five-course dinner featuring dishes that were either described in or inspired by George R. R. Martin's books, like braised boar belly with apple sauce and pear poached in wine.
According to Miss Ang, the warm reception of the GOT event led to the idea for The Hunger Games-themed meal.
It helps that she's also passionate about the books and film adaptations, which star Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson.
Panem Forever will be held on Nov 26 at Bridge Cafe for a party of 50, a week after the release of the highly anticipated third instalment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.
"I'm such a big fan, so I knew immediately what should be on the menu," said Miss Ang, who shared how she made a detour to The Hunger Games filming locations when she went to the US for a holiday last year.
Food, she said, plays a big part in the story, especially when the female protagonist Katniss (Lawrence) first goes to Panem, the Capitol of the 12 districts set in a dystopian North America.
Katniss, who hails from District 12 where food is scarce, is immediately taken by a Capitol lamb stew with prunes, calling it her favourite dish ever. So obviously that had to be served at Panem Forever, said Miss Ang.
The three-course degustation menu, specially prepared by chef Daniel Drobnik, includes creamy pumpkin brew, a soup that Katniss loves; a choice of the lamb stew or chicken in creamy orange sauce; and a frothy pink soup made of red dragon fruit froth and raspberry drops, which was inspired by President Snow's party.
It took Miss Ang, Mr Yong and Mr Drobnik three months to conceptualise the menu.
"It was fortunate that Chef Daniel was excited to replicate the food," said Miss Ang, adding that he found it a culinary challenge to "match the dish to its description in the books".
Bridge Cafe will be decorated to look like what it is in the movies, with Miss Ang's mother acting as the "props master".
"My mum's making the bows and arrows, and some other things."
While Mrs Ang, who's in her 50s, may not be a fan of The Hunger Games like her daughter, she "loves all things crafty" and was instrumental in helping the team make the flags and banners and other decorations for the GOT dinner.
Miss Ang hopes that Panem Forever will be as successful as Welcome To King's Landing, so that Geek Crusade can organise more similar events. "It's basically a gathering of fans, where strangers become friends over a meal talking about their favourite topic."
This article was first published on Nov 19, 2014.
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