Big Food

Synopsis: 

BIG FOOD explores the business of keeping large amounts of food moving – sometimes 24/7.

Through the eyes of staff on the ground of some of Singapore’s busiest food empires, we follow the journey of the food all through the supply chain. For 48 hours, we follow the key players in each location to answer this question: how do these businesses and huge organisations keep food-crazy Singaporeans fed and satisfied, every day and on demand?

BIG FOOD explores experts and game-changers in the food industry who put Singapore on the makan map.

Genre: Food, Travel, Lifestyle
Language: English
Year: 2015

Duration: 13 Episodes x 30 Minutes
Territory/Rights available: Worldwide, except Hong Kong and Macau Terrestrial
Formats Available: Yes
Show Format: HD
Produced by: The Moving Visuals Co.

Client: Channel 5 (Singapore Terrestrial)

Episodes:

Episode 1 – Spain, Getxo International Paella Competition
Every year 30,000 people flock to Getxo in Northern Spain for one of the oldest and most prestigious paella contests in the world. This year, Greta is there to see if chefs from Singapore’s Papito’s restaurant can beat the Spanish at their own national dish! The PasarBella market traders won the Oceania International Championship in Australia but in Spain the competition will be much bigger. 160 competing teams will cook over 300 kilograms of rice and burn 7,000kg of firewood. It’s a trial by fire for the Singapore team!

Episode 2 – Bangladesh, Ramadan at Chawkbazaar
During Ramadan, Chawkbazar in Dhaka comes alive with the sights and smells of hundreds of makeshift stalls selling traditional Iftar delicacies. Iftar is the meal after sunset that breaks the day long fast. Some 15,000 Muslims come to Chawkbazar every day during Ramadan to buy rich mutton curries, sugary treats and refreshing fresh fruits from tiny street stall businesses. How they manage to cook such huge quantities is unbelievable.

Episode 3 – Singapore, MBS 2015 Epicurean Market
On any given day, Marina Bay Sands feeds around 14,000 people including staff and guests. But over the three days they’re expecting an extra 10,000 more to walk through their doors to indulge in the gourmet delights at the 3rd annual Epicurean Market. As the mountains of supplies overflow the hotel’s usual storage areas, Greta goes behind the scenes to see the staff try to bring this extraordinary culinary extravaganza to fruition… with just two days to go.

Episode 4 – India, Golden Temple Free Kitchen
Every day more than 80,000 people visit The Golden Temple at Amritsar in the north Indian state of Punjab. It is Sikhism’s holiest shrine and every visitor (regardless of caste, creed, race or religion) is welcome to eat at the temple’s langar or free kitchen. It is one of the largest free kitchens in the world and can feed 3,000 people every 15 minutes. Greta is overwhelmed by the efficiency of the kitchen despite the fact that it is largely staffed by an ever changing army of volunteers.

Episode 5 – Singapore, Malay Wedding
Their wedding is the biggest celebration of their lives and Malay-Singaporeans, Fursyam & Vivienna, have invited one thousand four hundred people to share in their happiness! But how are they going to feed them all? Chef Rohaizat has invited Greta to join him in the lead up to the groom’s reception to see how this extraordinary task will be achieved. To add to the challenge, the outdoor venue has no kitchen!

Episode 6 – Thailand, Vegetarian Festival
Greta goes to Bangkok’s Chinatown for the nine day long Chinese cleansing festival known as Tesakan Kin Jay or the Vegetarian Festival. How do countless regular noodle shops, street stalls and restaurants change their usual meaty dishes to a dizzying array of totally vegan dishes? The dazzling parades and noisy, colourful festival atmosphere make for a truly invigorating experience for the body and soul.

Episode 7 – Taiwan, Bandoh Chefs
Preparing food for hundreds and sometimes even thousands of guests isn’t something all cooks like to do and this is exactly what the bandoh experts in Southern Taiwan have taken advantage of over the past fifty years – catering on location for up to 2,000 people at weddings, funerals, and birthdays. These noble and tough nomads of the catering world go to any venue, bringing with them everything from the crabs and pineapples to the stoves, tents, tables and chairs! Greta goes to see how legendary bandoh chef, Chef Xue feeds some 2,000 people at four different events over just two days.

Episode 8 – Singapore, NUH
Hospital food is not generally regarded as very appetising but the kitchen staff at NUH have revolutionised their systems to cater to the needs of individual patients down to the finest detail. Not an easy task when there are 1,000 people to feed three times a day! All allergy and dietary considerations must be met. And with Christmas approaching the staff are also designing a special menu just for this day. It’s about as complicated as it can get in the world of large scale catering.

Episode 9 – Singapore, Japan Foods Holding
Less than fifty years ago there were barely a dozen Japanese restaurants in Singapore but today there are more than six hundred. The kitchen at Japan Food Holdings supplies forty-five Japanese restaurants. They make 27,000 bowls of ramen and 10,000 servings of noodles every day. Greta goes behind the scenes to see this extraordinary process in action.

Episode 10 – Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel
Every year the festive season creates a “mad rush” for the kitchen staff of one of the world’s biggest hotel brands. 300 log cakes and 250 turkeys, are just a fraction of what it takes to feed thousands of guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. And to top it off, right in the midst of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year – they’re opening a new restaurant! As challenges go, this is as big as it gets in a hotel kitchen.

Episode 11 – Singapore, Foodgnostic
How is it possible for sixty people to make 60,000 muffins, 30,000 sandwiches and more than 10,000 cheese cakes in a month? That’s a cheesecake every minute! Singapore’s Foodgnostics supply desserts, pies and sandwiches to several large cafes and restaurants using some of the most innovative and up to date baking technology available. In the lead up to Chinese New Year, Greta gets to taste test their latest and greatest Pineapple Tarts.

Episode 12 – Singapore, Chong Pang Nasi Lemak
Chong Pang Nasi Lemak has been a household name in Singapore ever since it opened in 1973. Today they make Nasi Lemak on a larger scale than anyone else in Singapore and yet it is still a humble family business. How do they manage to run an almost 24/7 operation producing 2,000 servings per day without losing that signature homemade touch? Greta meets one of their biggest fans and helps out with a 250kg batch of chilli paste.

Episode 13 – Singapore, Royal Caribbean Cruise
Making everything from cupcakes to California rolls, finger foods to five-course gourmet meals, the galley of Mariner of the Seas must be fully stocked before leaving the docks in Singapore. In a week at sea they go through 28,000 eggs, 4,200 pots of yoghurt and 29,500 kilograms of potatoes. They’ve got 4, 299 passengers and crew to feed! Once they are at sea, there is no going back.