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Chefs

Oct 1, 2014

CHEF EMMANUEL STROOBANT / Cultural Exchange

“French and Japanese cuisine have a lot in common, especially when it comes to seasonal ingredients. For instance, mushroom season happens at the same time in Japan and France. Both cultures are also particular where food presentation and the training of chefs are concerned, and have a lot of respect for the produce, producers, and farmers. There are also similarities in cooking techniques, such as grilling, frying, steaming and poaching.

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Personally, I believe that simple, fresh, seasonal ingredients do not require much transformation. It’s about enhancing their natural flavours. This miso cod I’ve prepared here is a good example of that. It is black cod brushed with a white miso, and garnished with daikon wrap, poached baby spinach, sesame seeds, jade eggplant, fresh poached shitake, dashi consommé, and a sushi rice ball.

This dish has been one of St Pierre’s signature dishes since it opened in the year 2000. The garnishes change every three months, depending on what’s in season, so I could use either nasu or shitake mushrooms for this dish. Both ingredients are prepared following a French braising method.

While I don’t visit Japan all that often – perhaps once every three or four years – I do work with Japanese chefs every now and then. Recently, I collaborated with Hideaki Matsuo, a three Michelin-starred chef from the restaurant Kashiwaya in Osaka, for Diner Des Grands Chefs Singapour in May 2014. When I do visit Japan, however, food is always the main focus of my trip. I like to place my orders by just pointing at the menu, not really knowing what’s going to end up in front of us. I also love discovering new producers and ingredients, with the hope of bringing some of the latter back home to Singapore.

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(Text Denise Li Photography: Raymond Toh/Vineyard Production)

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant

He’s been in Singapore since 1999, opening his first restaurant, St Pierre, in December 2000. Today, there are 10 F&B establishments under six brands in the Emmanuel Stroobant Group: St Pierre, Brussels Sprouts, Rocks Urban Grill + Bar, Picotin Express, Sque Rotisserie & Alehouse, and Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House.

St Pierre

is located at #01-15 Quayside Isle. Tel: 6438 0887

31 Ocean Way, Singapore