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Winners of Mediacorp’s first multi-language cooking competition to vie for ultimate championship in King of Culinary – The Final Showdown!

After 10 weeks of gruelling challenges and stellar showcases of gastronomic prowess, three winners from three concurrent cooking competitions ராஜா கைய வச்சா (Raja Kaiya Vecha), Raja Kulinari and 三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”) have emerged victorious! Gopica ‘Rasathi’ Rasiah, Zakiyah Jaleel and Tran Thi Ngoc Anh Hue from the respective series have proved their culinary worth, and secured their spots in the thrilling King of Culinary – The Final Showdown!

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Singapore, 27 October 2022 – After 10 weeks of gruelling challenges and stellar showcases of gastronomic prowess, three winners from three concurrent cooking competitions ராஜா கைய வச்சா (“Raja Kaiya Vecha”), Raja Kulinari and 三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”) have emerged victorious! Gopica ‘Rasathi’ Rasiah, Zakiyah Jaleel and Tran Thi Ngoc Anh Hue from the respective series have proved their culinary worth, and secured their spots in the thrilling King of Culinary – The Final Showdown!

Following their wins against mentor Chefs Thanabalan and S. R. Bala in ராஜா கைய வச்சா (“Raja Kaiya Vecha”) and Eric Teo and Eric Neo in 三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”), Rasathi and Hue, who were also respectively quelled by mentor Chefs Anand Kumar and Pung, each walked away with two mentor chefs’ knives. Meanwhile, setting the record for being the only homecook to triumph against three mentor chefs was Zakiyah in Raja Kulinari, who walked away with Chefs Iskander, Bob and Khaled’s knives, along with a $4,000 cash prize!

“I feel humbled to have won all three of the decorated mentor chefs’ knives,” said Raja Kulinari winner Zakiyah. “I’m really thankful and blessed, but also nervous about the next phase. However, to me, the journey and experience gained are more valuable than winning, and I am excited to compete in King of Culinary – The Final Showdown,” said the Raja Kulinari winner.

“Honestly, I’m still shocked by my win in Raja Kaiya Vecha,” said the joyous Rasathi. “My strategy for the competition involved incorporating the skills and knowledge I picked up from my travels, which worked exceptionally well. I’m greatly looking forward to showcasing my fusion flair in the finale as I attempt to creatively work in unconventional ingredients, which I hope will impress and inspire the judges,” added the hopeful finalist.

After defeating fellow homecook Lim Kuang Haw in an exciting tiebreaker, San Ba Dao winner Hue recounted, “It was my helper who first heard about King of Culinary on the radio, and encouraged me to audition. While I didn’t have any experience participating in culinary competitions, my love for cooking spurred me to sign up.” She added, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to further my King of Culinary journey, and am looking forward to learning more from the chefs and fellow winners.”

Please refer to Annex A for the winners’ profiles.

Cheer on the winners as they gear up to return for a thrilling four-episode finale every Sunday starting 13 November! Hosted by the acclaimed Hossan Leong, King of Culinary – The Final Showdown will introduce fans to a new panel of judges. They include Singapore’s ‘Top Food Influencer’, Daniel Ang from DanielFoodDiary.com, and esteemed chefs Haikal Johari and Petrina Loh. Also returning to the finale will be Chefs S. R. Bala, Bob and Eric Teo, representative mentor chefs from each of the previous series. Please refer to Annex B for the profiles of the host, judges and mentor chefs.

The first three episodes of King of Culinary – The Final Showdown will see the winners pitting their skills one-on-one against the selected mentor chefs in a timed battle:

  • Episode one: Rasathi versus Chef Bob and Hue versus Chef Bob
  • Episode two: Zakiyah versus Chef S. R. Bala and Hue versus Chef S. R. Bala
  • Episode three: Rasathi versus Chef Eric Teo and Zakiyah versus Chef Eric Teo

The dishes will be assessed for the creative incorporation of the selected ingredient, cooking techniques, presentation and taste. Judges Daniel, Haikal and Petrina carry one vote individually, and will award a knife to their selected victors of each round. For every win Rasathi, Zakiyah and Hue secure, they will also be awarded a prize money of $3,000, on top of the knives given by the judges.

At the end of episode three, the winner with the least number of knives collected will be eliminated. The remaining two will clash head on over a three-course menu battle in episode four as they vie for the championship title, cash prize of $10,000 and a coveted laser-etched King of Culinary Grand Champion knife!

Catch King of Culinary – The Final Showdown on meWATCH, Channel 5 and Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube every Sunday starting 13 November, at 9.30pm.

For more information, please visit www.mediacorp.sg/kingofculinary.

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Media contact
Nurul Atiqah
Communications Associate
Atiqah.MY@mediacorp.com.sg

About Mediacorp
Mediacorp is Singapore’s national media network and largest content creator. Its purpose is to create engaging and trusted content, as well as to connect communities and inspire people. Mediacorp engages over three million people in Singapore daily across four languages on its digital platforms including meWATCH, meLISTEN and CNA.asia, six TV channels and 11 radio stations. Beyond Singapore, Mediacorp also has a growing international audience through CNA and content distributed across markets.

With a focus on nurturing talent and growing the sector, the company is committed to investing in nation-wide initiatives like Star Search, Anugerah, Yaar Antha Star and SPOP, commissioning a wide variety of work from local content creators, and collaborating with institutes of higher learning. As Singapore’s first local Multi-Channel Network in partnership with YouTube, Mediacorp is also committed to developing a network of digital content creators.

For advertisers, Mediacorp has partnered industry-leading brands like ESPN, Mothership, Popcorn, Singapore Tatler, theAsianparent, VICE, YouTube and 99.co to form the Mediacorp Digital Network in offering more effective content-driven solutions.

Mediacorp is the recipient of industry accolades including New York Festivals, World Media Festivals, PromaxBDA (World and Asia) and Asian Academy Creative Awards.

For more information, please visit mediacorp.sg.

Annex A – Profiles of ராஜா கைய வச்சா (“Raja Kaiya Vecha”), Raja Kulinari and 三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”) winners

 

Winners

Profiles

ராஜா கைய வச்சா (“Raja Kaiya Vecha”)

Gopica ‘Rasathi’ Rasiah

The Global Gastronome

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Born in Singapore but having lived around the world, in Australia, England, Indonesia and the United States, Rasathi is a global gastronome. From her time living abroad, Rasathi found her love for all-things culinary and picked up on various cooking styles.

A counsellor and part-time actress by day, Rasathi is also a single mother. She often experiments with different ways to whip up tasty and interesting dishes for her daughter, and gets creative with the use of spices, which brings out the best flavours in her creations.

King of Culinary provided Rasathi with the opportunity to cook for a new audience and allowed her to explore and test different palates.

Raja Kulinari

Zakiyah Jaleel
The Spice Whisperer

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A warrior in and out of the kitchen, Zakiyah overcame the odds and beat pancreatic cancer in 2021. Despite the hurdles she faced, Zakiyah bounced back and regained her confidence and love for cooking. To step out of her comfort zone, Zakiyah challenged herself and signed up to participate in Raja Kulinari.

After learning the ropes when she was only 10, Zakiyah developed a love for cooking. During her bout with cancer, Zakiyah found cooking to be therapeutic and it allowed her to rediscover her love for all things culinary.

Zakiyah walks the talk in sustainable cooking and is known on Raja Kulinari for not wasting any of her ingredients. Unassuming and humble, Zakiyah holds the record of being the only homecook to have triumphed over all three mentor chefs!

三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”)

Tran Thi Ngoc Anh Hue
The Neighbourhood Gourmet Cook

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Hailing from Vietnam, the stoic Hue first moved to Singapore to further her knowledge in the hairdressing field, where she subsequently met her husband. A warm and loving mother of two, Hue has also proved to be a powerhouse in the kitchen.

She emanates the kampung spirit – she opens up her flat to welcome her neighbours and their children in throughout the day and frequently serves them her delicious culinary creations.

Known for her love and joy for cooking, Hue has struck a chord in those around her as she showcases her strategic and impressive cooking techniques.

Hue first heard about King of Culinary on the radio. Fuelled by her passion for cooking, together with encouragement from her helper, Hue signed up for三把刀 (“San Ba Dao”). She strives to share what she calls ‘old people’s tastes’ from her hometown through her comforting and soulful foods.

Annex B – Profiles of Host, Judges and Mentor Chefs

Host

Profile

Hossan Leong

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Affectionately known as ‘Singapore Boy’, Hossan Leong is a consummate performer whose repertoire includes directing, singing, dancing, acting, stand-up comedy and playing the piano in theatre, on screen and radio.

Through his work in A Singaporean in Paris and No Regrets: A Tribute to Edith Piaf, the ‘Singapore Boy’, who is fluent in French, has found fame internationally and played an instrumental role in bridging cultural relations between Singapore and France. His efforts were recognised and he was conferred Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2011.

In 2014, Hossan hosted the 49th National Day Parade in front of a 27,000-strong live audience which reached two million others on screen. Internationally, he has numerous appearances under his belt, having performed in Bangkok, Boston, Brunei, Chicago, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Hong Kong, where he gave a TEDx talk in May 2021. Hossan has also conceived and directed various regional and international productions, including the 2004 World Gourmet Summit and APAO Congress 2006, and continues to provide creative direction for corporate and government projects.

Today, Hossan continues to delight audiences through his extensive creative involvement in local theatre productions and nurtures the next generation of theatre practitioners by providing them a platform to showcase their skills through his company Double Confirm Productions.

 

Judges

Profiles

Daniel Ang

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Writer behind the popular DanielFoodDiary.com (DFD) for over a decade, Daniel Ang first started food blogging in 2008. Since its humble beginnings, DFD has grown to be one of the leading food sites in Singapore, clocking over four million page views per month.

Referred to as the ‘bao-ka-liao’ (do-it-all) guy, Daniel juggles all aspects of food blogging, from the eating to photography, videography, writing, editing and almost everything else.

Among his accolades is being the ‘Top Food Influencer in Singapore’, which he won at the 2017 Influence Asia Awards. He has also been invited to join various judging panels including the prestigious Epicurean Star Award.

When not blogging about food, Daniel is lecturer and mediator, and… always trying to lose weight.

Haikal Johari

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Haikal Johari is the helming Executive Chef at Alma by Juan Amador, a leading restaurant which has clinched the prestigious One Michelin Star consecutively since 2016.

Haikal is a distinguished chef with an impressive culinary career, having worked in some of the region’s finest restaurants such as the acclaimed Water Library restaurant in Bangkok, which he played a role in establishing.

With vast skillsets and experiences, Haikal brings with him a combination of Asian flavours and influences, from fresh Japanese ingredients to Thai spices, which he incorporates into the menu at Alma by Juan Amador, resulting in exceptional and mouth-watering European dishes with a unique Asian twist.

Petrina Loh

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Morsels’ chef-owner Petrina Loh has come a long way after leaving her private banking day job to fully pursue her culinary passion and love for food and wine. A top in her graduating cohort from the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, which runs the Le Cordon Bleu programme, Petrina was also mentored by esteemed chefs, such as Mark Sullivan and Walter Abrams, during her training stint in the United States.

Upon returning to Singapore in 2013, Petrina founded Morsels, which took the local food scene by storm, and quickly found fame for her creativity and food ethos. In March 2017, Morsels won big, bagging the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Chef’s Choice (Western)’ awards at the World Gourmet Summit’s Awards of Excellence 2017. More recently, Petrina was awarded ‘Chef of the Year (Female)’ at the World Gourmet Summit 2022.

She has also starred in numerous English and Chinese programmes on screen including Masterchef Singapore Season 3, Buzzing Hawkers, Fresh Off Japan, Hey Chef 2 and What’s in the Fridge.

Petrina is a firm believer of ‘you are what you eat’ and constantly strives to serve up food that not only excites one’s palate but also nourishes oneself. She continues to pursue her passion and hone her craft by travelling to various countries and visiting restaurants, makers, brewers, factories and farms to learn more about food, preparation techniques and agriculture.

 

Mentor Chefs

Profiles

Chef S. R. Bala

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As one of Singapore’s most decorated Indian chefs, Chef S R Bala has over 22 years of experience and a talent for crafting Indian fusion food with winning tastes, enticing all kinds of palates.

Chef Bala has also contributed to many projects with Mediacorp, Health Promotion Board, National Environment Agency and Indian Heritage Centre to generarate awareness of the diversity of hawker and Indian food. He also advocates healthy eating by showing how food can be made healthier without losing the original taste and flavour.

Chef Bob (Shahrizal Salleh)

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Chef Bob started his culinary career as a hotel chef, honing his skills in Malay, Indian, Indonesian, Spanish cuisine, while specialising in Malay cuisine. He is also no stranger to showbiz, with numerous appearances on Mediacorp and the Asian Food Channel over the years in various dramas, sitcoms, cooking programmes and travelogues.

After launching his inaugural cookbook, Aroma, in 2015, the effervescent and fun-loving Chef Bob now advocates a healthy lifestyle through a balanced tasty diet and exercise by sharing these stories on social media.

Chef Eric Teo

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As a renowned figure in the culinary world, Chef Eric’s reputation precedes him. His achievements include being a 3- time winner of the World Gourmet Summit Executive Chef of the Year, Mentor and Deputy Head Judge of Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge, Culinary Auditor for F1 Grand Prix 2018, Golden Chef Abalone, Guest Chef on MasterChef Asia 2015, and the first Singaporean to be appointed President of the Singapore Chefs’ Association from 2005 - 2013.

Along with a wealth of culinary experience and his infectious energy, Chef Eric has become the go-to advisor for large-scale culinary events, here and overseas. He is also the Master Mentor with the Asian Culinary Institute Singapore, helping to push the standards of culinary excellence in Singapore.


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