[Asia Tatler] How Bacchanalia Is An Incubator For Top Talents
It was a rather serendipitous turn of events over the past few months that led to the latest buzz surrounding one of Singapore’s top restaurants. From the surprise shutting of Joel Robuchon’s Singapore outposts just shy of seven months after the iconic chef’s young protege Vianney Massot took over at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, to an equally unexpected offer for Bacchanalia’s Luke Armstrong to work in Japan.
He says that it is also his passion to be close to the ingredients he works with and while that limited the options to countries like the United Kingdom, France and Japan, Armstrong confeses that he also wants to stay in Asia.
Taking over as executive chef when he leaves his post at the end of the month is 26-year-old Massot who brings to the table notable experience working with the Robuchon group. And looking a little further into Bacchanalia's history, it’s also easy to appreciate the pedigree he complements and which the restaurant has flaunted over the years, starting with Ivan Brehm who spent four years at the restaurant, then dubbed The Kitchen At Bacchanalia, leading it to its first Michelin star two years ago. Brehm left rather abruptly at the end of 2016 but returned only months later to open Nouri, which earned its first Michelin-star in July.
Armstrong took advantage of the opportunity to establish and grow his style of cuisine while maintaining the restaurant's commitment to quality dining. “Through his guidance, the restaurant has managed to retain its status as a one-Michelin-starred restaurant for two consecutive years,” asserts Lim Kian Chun, co-founder of the Ebb & Flow Group, which took over ownership and management of Bacchanalia in January 2018.