Cooking with local produce has always been the domain of fiercely independent restaurants like Artichoke or Poison Ivy Bistro. Chef Julien Bompard of Scotts 27 who serves classic French cuisine turns this phenomenon on its head and pairs fresh Singapore produce from Kranji with wines from Burgundy for his upcoming Salon Gourmet dinner: Gastronomic Postcards from Burgundy. And why not? Two of our farms produce frog and quail – common meats used in classic French cuisine. Bompard tells us more.
Firstly, tell us: Why Burgundy?
I lived in Burgundy for three years, and I worked with three Michelin starred chef Jacques Lameloise there. He was a great chef who taught me a lot of classic cuisine. I was 19 then, and that was when I started discovering the wines. I was friends with sommeliers who taught me a lot and I really learnt to taste the wine. I passed by these vineyards every day and you see them with the leaves, with the grapes. You see them in the winter and autumn so I grew attached to the produce that gives us wine.
How do you bring this attachment to the dining table?
It’s in the wine pairing, so the wines are in the frontline and the food must pair well. I’m also using the produce of Singapore, which brings French cuisine with local Singaporean produce and Burgundy wines. That fascinates me more than anything. Burgundy wines are always delicate, they’re not easy to do food pairing. You have to be delicate with flavour you can’t go with too much seafood because it’s too salty or with heavy meats. It’s best to use poultry. So that’s my approach.
Tell us more about the local produce you will be using.
There is the frog leg with garlic butter, the frog is from a local farm. We also have the quail, the mussels, the seabass. All these are farmed or grown here.
Why did you decide to use local produce?
First I met these farmers. I went to the Kranji Countryside Association Farmers’ Market and met them. I know for Salon Gourmet, this dinner is about Burgundy but I’m not going to import from there. First, the produce is good. I want to do away with the perception that if it’s local, it’s cheap. That’s not true. Look at the price of the land and the effort for people to farm here – it’s done with passion. So that’s what I like. It’s similar to Burgundy which is also a countryside with farmers so it’s going to be an interesting pairing and I hope it will be a dish that’s memorable for the guests.