What sparked your passion for cooking?
I’ve been immersed in the world of French cuisine and fine dining since I was a child. I watched my father and grandmother cooking on weekends and I always wanted to help. When we travelled around France, my father would plan a route according to Michelin-star restaurants we hadn’t yet visited, and I would collect all the restaurant menus because I was fascinated by what those chefs could do. Now I cook almost daily.
Do you have any specialities?
I usually cook simple, French bistro-style dishes like grilled meat with potato gratin, roast chicken with lemon sauce, or homemade pasta – many of them based on my grandmother’s recipes. But I love cooking with truffles. Whenever I go back to France for Christmas, I buy a kilogram of fresh truffles to bring to Singapore. My wife and I have a tradition of having at least one truffle dish for dinner each month, and we’ve used it with scrambled eggs, souffle, pasta, red meat and foie gras. My friends also love my flourless chocolate cake – it’s very heavy and full of butter.
Any favourite restaurants here?
I recommend Nouri. The chef (Ivan Brehm) is good because he manages to bring together techniques and flavours from all over the world. But my favourite place to eat at is still home. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered takeaway, since coming to Singapore over a year ago.
What about kitchen disasters?
There was once I left foie gras in the oven then forgot about it, as I was watching a TV show and tired from travelling. It was supposed to be cooked for half an hour but it was in there for two. In the end, it turned into a slab of yellow fat.
How does cooking help you?
It relaxes me. I cook even when I’m tired as I have to focus; there’s no time to think about the day’s worries when you’re paying attention to what your hands are doing and how much time has passed while making multiple dishes.