We’ve finished stirring the final pots in Eat Up, the series where On The Red Dot ventures into five kitchens to cook for a total of 27,000 people.
We knew big-batch cooking was going to be a whole different ballgame from the usual kitchen escapades. So we enlisted Masterchef Singapore Season 2 winner, Derek Cheong, and Season 1 runner-up, Genevieve Lee.
Derek begins at Nazreen Catering and faces the challenge of cooking for three Malay weddings in one night. He discovers the art of slow-cooking 5 massive pots of mutton biryani without popping the lids to taste or check if they are done.
Next, he teams up with the self-taught head chef and his crew at Singapore Buddhist Lodge to whip up 15 vegetarian dishes for 7,000 people on Vesak Day. Fun fact: the head chef isn’t even a vegetarian!
Genevieve’s culinary adventure begins at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple where free lunch is prepared for 13,000 people during the holy month of Purattasi. Each dish cannot be taste-tested as it is cooked. So, preparing each dish becomes a test of faith.
A different challenge arises at KKH, Singapore’s largest women’s and children’s hospital. The kitchen team must cater to patients with varying medical and dietary needs. So, big-batch cooking here goes beyond taste – it’s about variety, nutrition and making sure every spoonful contributes to recovery.
The five challenges are as diverse as the dishes and it takes strategic planning, secret recipes and teamwork.