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The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian

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?

The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Here is the winning pizza before it went out – then it was sliced and accompanied with some lime quarters for extra zing if the judges wanted

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 Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Here’s my little workstation – 6 of these in total. I love the signage and the name plates…

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.

The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Yours truly with my Sous Chef Amy, courtesy of photography from Ollie (thanks guys) – smiling nervously ha ha!!!
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Hold on a minute, is two Sous Chefs allowed? “Hey who cares what they say?” says Baby Jude, “I’m cooking with my Daddy!!!”
https://islifearecipe.net/jamie-oliver-singapore/
Prepping time. Limes cut, mixed cheese out, coriander check, laab gai mix done – we are ready to rock folks! To my right you can see the judges going round meeting all the contestants – bit of a meet & greet, mingle and Q&A re what they are about to consume. Now the lady with the apron was the Chef that I ended up in the final two with – a truly wonderful Italian pizza with roasted vegetables and Mozzarella, on a home made pizza base. Tough competition.
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Prepping done – my table is set for the cook-off. Nice shot Ollie.

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!!!

The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
On to cheese layer #1 goes the laab gai mix, looking good, looking good
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
All finished now and ready for the oven – again like a machine the Jamie’s team were whizzing these off as the contestants finished them – then back they came 10 or so minutes later for finishing off (I LOVE my name tag)

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!!!

The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
And here she is, straight from the oven. I think that is looking pretty bloody good (if I say so myself), and next its the additional toppings…
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Here it is again – completed. I am ever so lucky to have created the winning pizza at The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
Some of the ‘fans’ ha ha – my loyal friends who came give me a cheer on and moral support – thanks Steve & Jim (amongst many) – notice the refreshing ale to calm one’s nerves ha ha… Very Bourdain!!! I am the winner. Very, very happy!!!
The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie's Italian
And the final photo – me and my competitors fair, again with the ‘fans’ – Jim, Steve and Craig (all the way from Oz) and also Duncan the EVP for Jamie’s Italian – an AMAZING day thanks Jamie’s Italian – I think I’ll have another beer!!!

So are you going to come join me for that one week on my Pizza on the Specials??? Come on, Come on, you have to try it. It took a lot of effort to win the competition, in fact there were 2 points in it between 1st and 2nd place. I believe the pizza will be on the menu sometime around 18th April. I’ll be there for sure with the gang. Can’t miss that. I’ll post when I know. It will give you the chance to experience Jamie’s Italian and also the outcome of The Pizza Showdown @ Jamie’s Italian, my winning Laab Gai Pizza. Woo Hoo. Still so very happy about that, and hope to are happy too if you do indeed get to the restaurant to try it. ENJOY!!!

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