Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ToTT (Tools of The Trade's) @ Dunearn Road, Bukit Timah

Had always passed by ToTT everytime I'm in bus #67 on my way to somewhere else. Hence, was pretty excited to be invited there for their launch of a new cookbook, "Best Brunch Ever" and also their brand new e-commerce site ToTTstore.com.

If taking cab, then tell the taxi uncle that it's Sime Darby building at Dunearn Road. Had a bit of time before the event starts, so went nosying around inside ToTT. They have cookware, cook's tools, bakeware, appliances, tableware, bar, food, homekeeping, cooking studios etc. There's even a Jason's Supermarket to do groceries shopping.

purple themed
looking for cook, bake or hosting stuffs?
items for catering, party hosting, everything

While it's possible to wander around for hours looking at the various items, the event was scheduled to start at 1130am, so off to the cooking studio!

invited chefs to demo recipes from "Best Brunch Ever" cookbook
for media friends

The cookbook showcases brunch ideas from 8 chefs, covering cuisines like American, Australian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Spanish, Italian and French. For that morning, we were treated to recipes by Chef Antonio Facchinette (Prego Restaurant, Fairmont Singapore), Chef Nicolas Joanny (Nicolas Le Restaurant), Chef Dan Segall (The Big Idea) and Chef Chi Quang Trinh (Addictions Café and Remedy Bar).

The demo session started with Chef Antonio, who did Spaghetti Piccanti, an aglio olio kind of dish with a twist.

ready when you are

two screens to show the happenings
adding breadcrumbs

The smell of food was so appetizing and the hungries got even hungrier. Can't wait to try our first brunch dish.

Chef Antonio's Spaghetti Piccanti
spaghetti with calamari, anchovies, some chilies, garlic, breadcrumbs and fennel

It's a dry aglio olio and you won't find oil pooling at the bottom of the plate. Am confident that this can be easily replicated at home.

Chef Nicolas Joanny was up next. He showed us how to make eggs 'a la coque'. This recipe required the top of the egg shell to be sliced off. Then separate the egg whites out and put the yolk back into the 'topless' shell. Ok, sounds like it requires a certain amount of skill.

Chef Nicolas and his assistant
eggs with top shell  and most whites removed, ready to be steamed for 2 minutes
frying the 'popiah' (brick pastry)
prawn encased in feuille de brick and deep fried till golden brown

Steamed egg with abit of cream and drizzled with sherry vinegar plus one prawn in pastry skin deep fried? Nice! First time having eggs with sherry vinegar, and it was rather nice too. Yummy.

Chef Nicolas - eggs 'a la coque'
runny yolk, perfect~

Chef Dan Segall, is how shall I put it? Loud? He's humorous, expressive and basically has a louder voice!

Chef Dan, extolling the virtues of Hotmix Pro

He's making us cornbread wedges with bacon jam. The Hotmix Pro made the process of making bacon jam, seemed rather easy.

ingredients going into the Hotmix Pro
just a tiny pinch to keep it subtle
personally plating the cornbread wedges with bacon jam for the guests

The cornbread colour was bright and chirpy (just the right tone for brunch!) and the bacon jam, we'd definitely like some more of that sweet savoury bacon jam please!

loved the bacon jam to bits!

Chef Chi Quang Trinh, shared with us the food that he misses the most when he's back in Australia, bánh cuốn or steamed rice rolls. Chef Chi was a rather soft-spoken person.

sauteeing the fillings for the rice rolls
very very important to use a non-stick frying pan
eat the steamed rice rolls with dipping sauce and lots of herbs

Was gravely mistaken about the steamed rice rolls. Thought it would be rather bland but it was actually healthy tasting and quite yummy at that! The fillings of minced pork, onions, black fungus were well seasoned and the dipping sauce made of fish sauce, water, sugar, chilies, garlic and lime all worked wonderfully. The super crunchy shallots was a good contrast to the soft chewy skin of the rice rolls.

Chef Chi - steamed rice rolls (bánh cuốn)
like eating chee cheong fun with savoury fillings but minus all the thick black sauce

It was a memorable brunch event! Thank you ToTT and our friendly and charming chefs.

Chef Nicolas, Chef Dan, Chef Chi and Cheft Antonio - thank you!

ToTT is having their Christmas sale now till 25 Dec 2013, so this might be a good time to check out the items that you were planning to get! As my friend puts it this way, "Am sure I always have things to buy from TOTT!"

Thank you Nicholas and team from Foodnews for the invite, and ToTT for hosting us. Best wishes!


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