The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian
What a day the 9th April 2016 was for me personally. Invited through Jamie’s web site competition that I spotted at Jamie’s Italian @ Vivo City. I applied with a recipe for my Laab Gai pizza, remember that one? I challenged them first of course as Jamie’s Italian, clearly being Italian and my pizza clearly being Thai in style. All was good and all was hen locked and loaded. Myself and 5 other down-selected hopefuls arrived at 10am at Vivo City, eager, keen, excited, and of course a little nervous. The Semi-Naked Chef has never done anything like this before, so it was a first courtesy of The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian. Now I have written a blog about Jamie’s before, remember that?
But before that, how did the event, The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian run. It was like this;
Please find the rundown schedule for Saturday’s showdown below:
- 10am: Contestants to report at JI Vivo; prep ingredients for 30mins; judges to arrive as well;
- 10:45am: Competition to start;
- Each contestant will have 15mins to make their 1st pizza (this 1st pizza is for panel of judges to try);
- Then another 15mins to prepare 2nd pizza (at this time, the 1st pizza is ready from the oven);
- 11.15am: Judges to try first batch of pizzas; and then
- 11.15am to 12pm: Contestants can mingle, taste test each other’s pizzas and announcement of pizza showdown winner at 12pm.
And boy did they keep to time. Like clock-work in fact. But hey you have to be like that in a restaurant or complaints will be forthcoming right. Just like on the TV, when you watch those chef open that basket and go; “What the hell am I going to cook with these ingredients in 30 minutes???” Too late mate, the clock is ticking. That’s how this was. Slight difference was that we were able to prep the main ingredients at home and bring them along, The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian supplied us all with the pizza dough, Olive oil. salt & pepper, Mozzarella, tomato sauce and Balsamic vinegar on the tables. More then enough to get a going on pizza making.
The place wasn’t open as we got there at 10am and the restaurant opens at midday. But people were bustling around, tables were being set, prep was happening in the kitchen, cleaning was being done, chairs were being arranged. Non-stop movement was everywhere and it’s still 2 hours to opening time. As people arrived for the competition we were ushered to the back part of the restaurant, near the kitchen, and overlooking Sentosa (not a bad back-drop). I had a gang arrive with me too, friends from Oz, friends from Singapore and family from Philippines. It was funny that all the Jamie staff commented along the lines of; “Oh my you have a following…”
Emma, the Country GM said; “You certainly have a huge fan base – perhaps we should get you back more often!!” I like that Emma. Count me and the gang in for that Emma, we ALL had such fun at The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian believe me!!!
Let me spin up a few more photos of the event now, my amazing day at The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian.
What was very challenging, but a great experience and fun, because it was a first time again, was taking that lump of pizza dough and turning it in to pizza base. One of our kind hosts, Alessandro Laconi – no less than Head Chef at Jamie’s Italian, was our mentor and teacher for this. He was clealry a fantastic teacher, as I think I did a pretty damn good job of it on the day. And it came from the oven perfectly cooked, think and crispy with bubbled sides. HAPPY!!!
Mine seemed to take a little longer than everyone else’s to come from the oven. And Alessandro, personally came over to advise me that he urgently needed my second pizza as one of the team had dropped the first one. Yep he got me – the bugger. A major sigh of relief when he announced he was, of course, joking. PHEW!!!