Chef Trevor Bird from Fable restaurant in Vancouver, Canada is known for his signature farm-to-table style, where he works closely with farmers to use local and seasonal produce on his menu. In town recently to work with chefs Daniele Sarno and Anthony Yeoh from Pontini and Cocotte respectively for $100 Gourmet, a newly-launched dining programme by Citibank, Bird shares what he will be cooking up and why he can’t see farm-to-table taking off here.
How do you feel working with both Daniele Sarno from Pontini and Anthony Yeoh from Cocotte?
I am very excited to work with Anthony, as I think we have a very similar style of cuisine and we will be able to exchange ideas and execute dishes on the same level. Pontini will be great to show off the more refined side of Fable, where we get a chance to come out with our A-game fancy dishes.
Tell us about the dishes you’ll be presenting for $100 Gourmet.
For Pontini, I am creating a more Mediterranean style of food that is in-line with their concept. One will be a free-form lasagna, constructed from fresh pasta filled with mascarpone, Parmesan and ricotta cheese with chanterelle mushrooms. For the second course I will be doing sable fish with apricot marmalade which is a local hero in Canada, and I want to showcase in Singapore. With Cocotte, I am executing two of Fables staples – the “Canned Tuna” and our famous “Spaghetti and Meatball”. The “Canned tuna” is a great play on words. You expect canned tuna, but when it reaches the table, it’s really fresh albacore tuna with potatoes, lemon, and fresh herbs, poached at a very low temperature to ensure the tuna is very moist and creamy. It is meant to be spread on grilled bread like canned tuna is, but the ironic thing is it’s actually very fresh.
There’s been a lot of flak given to the term “farm-to-table” in Singapore of late. What is your definition of this term, and your thoughts on self-sustainability?
I am honestly finding it hard to cook farm-to-table style in Singapore, as you guys import everything. In Vancouver, we are lucky to have a temperate climate and a lot of local farms and lots of amazing fish right off the coast. We are very self-sustainable and the more I travel and cook in other countries, the more it is apparent to me that it is not so easy in other parts of the world. Other countries simply do not have the accessibility like we do. Even though Singapore might have to import many things, I still consider it fresh and quality produce from a farm, even if it takes longer to get here. In Canada, everyone wants to eat organic and free-range because we can, and I’m all for this movement, but I’m also fine with getting people fed by the necessary means.
For more information on $100 Gourmet and to book tickets, go here.