A chat with chefs from Singapore’s Top Restaurants 2019/2020’s award-winning restaurants.
In conjunction with the launch of Singapore’s Top Restaurants 2019/2020, we caught up with chefs from some of our award-winning restaurants to learn more about their culinary philosophies and views on the restaurant scene. Chef Tristin Farmer of Restaurant Zén shares his thoughts on creating guest journeys, non-alcoholic pairings, and more; chef Shigeru Koizumi of ESORA explains the finer points of his tea pairing programme; chef Mike Tan of Madame Fan shares his thoughts on modern Chinese cuisine; while chef Peter Rollinson of FLUTES Restaurant.Bar delves into the wonders of produce.
Scottish chef Tristin Farmer began his culinary career in Scotland and has since worked in various countries around the world—his professional background includes stints at Maze by Gordon Ramsay in London, Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong and Marina Social in Dubai. Farmer now helms Restaurant Zén, a newly minted two-Michelin-starred restaurant and the Singapore outpost of three-Michelin-starred Frantzén in Stockholm. Head here for his insights on fun fine dining.
A native of Nara prefecture, Japan, chef Shigeru Koizumi was surrounded by bountiful produce from a young age. That helped him hone an acute sense of seasonality which has guided him in his positions at top restaurants such as Nihonryori RyuGin restaurant in Japan and Odette in Singapore. Now as chef-owner of ESORA, a kappo-style modern Japanese restaurant, he melds tradition and modernity in his cuisine with the belief that one degree of separation divides the good and the sublime. Head here for more on chef Koizumi’s culinary philosophy.
Chef Peter Rollinson, FLUTES Restaurant.Bar
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, chef Peter Rollinson’s fascination with food began at a young age, which led him to pursue a career in culinary arts. Over the years, chef Rollinson has worked at numerous top restaurants in Melbourne and Singapore including The Halia at Botanic Gardens. A self-professed ‘produce nut’, chef Rollinson’s culinary philosophy has always been to let the natural flavours of ingredients shine, which explains the fresh, simple and delicious tasting dishes at the award-winning modern European restaurant Flutes at the National Museum. Click here to learn more about his approach to produce.
Chef Mike Tan, Madame Fan
Chef Mike Tan started his career in Singapore in the 1990s, before moving on to other roles such as chef de cuisine at London restaurateur Alan Yau’s Hakkasan Miami. Returning to Singapore in the late 2000s, he spent several years helming the kitchen at Forest 森 restaurant, Resorts World Sentosa. Last year, he reunited with Yau, who was opening Madame Fan at NCO Club, his first restaurant in Southeast Asia. With authentic yet innovative dishes, Chef Mike Tan and team have their sights set on bringing Chinese dining to a new level in Singapore. Head here for the interview.
These interviews was first published in the Sep/Oct 2019 Celebrating Singapore’s Top Restaurants issue of Wine & Dine.