A New Brigade: Young chefs to watch in Singapore

Meet the new guard of exciting culinary talents that look set to carve their place on the mantle of Singapore’s fine dining scene.
Today’s cadre of promising young chefs are delivering joy, flavour and unprecedented dining experiences on their own terms. Their food is deeply personal, culturally grounded, and respectful of the environment that they draw from. The following are names to keep a close eye on as they blaze a new path for avid diners to discover.

Lewis Barker, Sommer
Gordon Ramsay once told me that chefs must start their careers young. “Eighteen to 33. That’s the sweet spot,” he said during an interview at his Bread Street Kitchen in Marina Bay Sands. “They need that (youthful) energy. By 33, they should have made it. That’s when you know if you’ve succeeded as a chef.”
Chef Lewis Barker, Sommer
By that logic, Lewis Barker is way ahead of his peers. The 29-year-old first stepped in a fine-dining restaurant at 15, working part-time at an establishment called Anthony’s in his hometown of Leeds. By 27, he’d won a Michelin star for his restaurant Sommer.
Main Dining Room

Nicolas Tam, Willow
“I just serve simple food,” insisted Nicolas Tam when pressed to describe his cuisine during our first meal at Willow a year ago. That’s not how you draw Michelin stars, the wizened food writers at the table advised, but Tam merely smiled, unfettered. As the food arrives at our table, it became evident that Willow is Tam’s love letter to simplicity. Every petite slab of fish, and there are many, is a display of his ethos of cooking simply and cooking well.
Chef Nicolas Tam, Willow
“I believe in the simplicity of food and flavours,” Tam eventually explained. “Top quality ingredients, well-executed cooking, and straightforward, delicious flavours are what I am going for. I know it’s hard to put a category to the food I create here at Willow, but in all honesty, we make food that is easy to understand. Most importantly, it has to be tasty.”
Miyazaki A5 Beef

Read more at CNA Luxury.

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