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Posts tagged ‘Chefs’

5 Minutes with Guy Savoy

Guy Savoy

Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris has retained three Michelin stars for 15 years running. Chopstix caught up with Guy Savoy himself, one of the most personable chefs in the business, on a recent trip to Asia.

Who inspired you to become a chef?
My mother. Firstly, I liked to eat and my mother was a good cook. I didn’t imagine how much work went into it though then I watched my mother one day. I saw how she blended flour, butter, eggs, salt and sugar. The ingredients were not interesting separately but then they became a cake. For me, it was like magic.

What is your food heaven and hell?
I love ice cream; it is an addiction. I don’t like capsicum. When they’re cooked they’re ok but I can’t eat raw ones.

What do you like to cook for yourself?
For a snack: toasted rustic bread with a thick layer of cold bread and some sardines and ground pepper on top. The most important thing is to have cold butter.

What would you be if you couldn’t be a chef?
Nothing. I can’t imagine being anything else.

Who would you most like to cook for?
Me.

What would you prepare as a last meal?
I am too too young to think about that!

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten?
Crocodile finger at Justin Quek’s restaurant in Singapore [Sky on 57 at Marina Bay Sands] and then a month ago, ants in The Amazon. In France we eat frog’s legs and snails, that’s part of our culture. Eating ants is not normal for us.

What’s the best restaurant we’ve never heard of?
My mother’s. I’ve never found better.

Will El Celler de Can Roca retain the World’s Best Restaurant title tonight?

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca at the three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, who have launched an exclusive dining experience in partnership with American Express Invites® at Felix restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong on 3 and 4 June 2016 - their first in the City - offering American Express Centurion Members access to one of the most sought after chef's tables in the world. Copyright David Loftus.

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. Copyright David Loftus.

When the World’s 50 Best Restaurants are announced in New York tonight, the Roca brothers will find out if they’ve retained the title for the three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Spain. Chopstix met the brothers earlier this month when they held their first dining experience in Hong Kong – an American Express Invites event at The Peninsula hotel.

How did the partnership with American Express Invites come about?
Joan Roca, Head Chef: “At El Celler de Can Roca, we have a long standing relationship with American Express with a great many customers coming to our restaurant in Girona. So when the opportunity arose to do something together in Hong Kong we embraced it.

“Felix at The Peninsula, Hong Kong is an exceptional place and the perfect setting for our work to shine. They clearly put a lot of emphasis on interior design, featuring Philippe Starck interiors and the space itself has a significant effect on the dining experience. The atmosphere is of absolute modernity, which combines perfectly with our understanding of food.”

What inspiration have you had from Hong Kong?
Joan Roca: “Hong Kong is a fascinating city because it encapsulates a sense of modernity and innovation with a unique frenetic energy. Like all chefs, when we travel, we travel with our eyes, hearts and minds open.

“What’s more, Hong Kong is a place where diverse Asian cuisines converge. It is a city with a magnificent culinary culture and a diverse mix of styles and ingredients that we find deeply interesting. We love the challenge of interpreting them through our food, whilst also bringing flavours from our own kitchen to this great gastronomic city.”

 

American Express Invites_Roca Brothers Event_9

Joan and Josep Roca at their American Express Invites event at The Peninsula Hong Kong

Josep, we hear you’re a collector of rare Chinese tea -what are the similarities between tea and wine tasting?

Josep Roca, Head Sommelier: “Yes, it is true that I love the world of tea. I have always said that if I did not devote myself to the world of wine, tea would have become the most important part of my life. Tea has an association with health, history and wisdom. To drink tea is also to drink from a culture within a cup; for me there are many similarities to the world of wine.”

What attracted each of you to your respective roles as chef, pastry chef and sommelier?
Jordi Roca, Head Pastry Chef:  “There is a creative triangle with the three of us; complementing each other. When we work together we understand each other, enjoy ourselves and know that we can go far.

“Each of us work in a different area of the kitchen and restaurant when it comes to creating the menu. I am ‘the sweet cuisine’, the dish that is integrated at the end of the dining experience. Joan is involved throughout the entire menu, even when it comes to the desserts. All our opinions create harmony across the whole menu, providing a structure. Josep is a great expert in gastronomic memory. Drawing on the world of wine, he uses his knowledge to provide us with many ideas for flavours and associations to create the dishes on the menu.

Jordi Roca

Joan Roca, Head Chef at El Celler de Can Roca Members. Copyright David Loftus

“What attracted me most to the world of sweet food is that you can play more, you have more freedom to create. I find myself in that special moment where the customer has just finished dinner. They have been serious and now they are relaxed, with everything that comes after the last savoury dish is fun. I feel comfortable in this role of entertainment, to be able to have fun with our clients through dishes”

[UPDATE: El Celler de Can Roca is number two in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016. Joan Roca has been awarded Chefs’ Choice Award 2016.]

Jason Atherton in Asia

Jason Atherton and his wife Irha

Jason Atherton and his wife Irha

As  Jason Atherton announces a new restaurant opening in the Philippines (his wife’s homeland) and steps away from his restaurants in Singapore, Choptix looks back to meeting the chef and restaurateur in his early days in Asia:

Jason Atherton has been clocking up the air miles between the UK and Asia in just this last week alone. The former Gordon Ramsay protégé and head chef at Maze in London, now with his own Michelin starred restaurant Pollen Street Social, has made three round trips in seven days.

Read more

Countdown for Amber’s Signature Sea Urchin

Hokkaido Sea Urchin in a Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed Waffles

There’s one month to try the Hokkaido Sea Urchin in Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed created by Richard Ekkebus at Amber, Hong Kong, before it’s taken off menu. This is the first fancy uni dish Chopstix tasted and still the best. Over the years the dish has gained a devoted following and inspired a specially designed molluscan ceramic bowl. Last day on the menu is May 31st, go bid a fond farewell. Lucky San Franciscans will still be able to enjoy it at chef Corey Lee’s In Situ restaurant.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/fine-dining/amber/

 

A Fat Duckling in the Lion City

A Different Vegetable Salad

A Different Vegetable Salad

A former chef at The Fat Duck, Ivan Brehm’s Chef’s Table is one of the most genuinely interesting food concepts in Singapore.

The table for two in the kitchen at Bacchanalia restaurant is bookable by arrangement only. Once there, the boffinish Brehm can be watched overseeing his supremely clever and artfully executed dishes at the pass and his brigade (including sous chef and fellow Fat Duck alumni Mark Ebbels) preparing them at their immaculate stations. Don’t expect expletives: Brehm is impressively calm and it rubs off on his team.

The Chef's Table at Bacchanalia

The Chef’s Table at Bacchanalia

After discussing your culinary preferences, Brehm will create a personalised menu for you (expect to pay a minimum of $SG500 plus taxes). Accompanied, if you wish, by wines chosen by the sommelier. These may include A Different Vegetable Salad, Rice & Coconuts, Hamachi Carambola and White Chocolate & Cherry Tart.

Nothing is quite how it sounds but neither does it come with Heston Blumenthal theatrics – Brehm likes his food to look like food.

Chef Ivan Brehm

Chef Ivan Brehm

The head chef will bring the dishes to your table, some including rare and local Asian herbs from Bacchanalia’s kitchen garden and each accompanied by a fascinating description of how the dish was devised.

In a city that’s dominated by copycat restaurant formats this makes a refreshing change.

http://www.bacchanalia.com

UPDATE Bacchanalia has moved to 39 Hong Kong Street, the Chef’s Table in the kitchen is no longer in operation.

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