If you’re not bar­be­cu­ing over wood, you’re not do­ing it right. So says DAVE PYNT, Aussie chef at Sin­ga­pore’s Burnt Ends, who sets us straight with a coal-fired menu made for spring.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Contents - Recipes DAVE PYNT Words MAX VEENHUYZEN

Dave Pynt, Aussie chef at Sin­ga­pore’s Burnt Ends, lights up the bar­bie for a coal-fired menu made for spring.

Think cook­ing over fire is some­thing only chefs can do? Think again.

“Just do it,” says Dave Pynt, chef­pa­tron of Sin­ga­pore’s Burnt Ends. “Just get in there and fig­ure it out as you go.”

Just do­ing it has been a re­cur­ring theme in the Perth-born chef’s ca­reer. Fol­low­ing time at Aus­tralian fine-din­ing pow­er­houses Tet­suya’s and Restau­rant Amuse, Pynt headed abroad and staged in kitchens such as Noma, St John Bread & Wine and, per­haps most tellingly, Asador Etxe­barri, home of Basque bar­be­cue mas­ter Vic­tor Ar­guin­zoniz.

Af­ter five months in East Lon­don run­ning a pop-up (known as Burnt Enz) Pynt was lured to Asia by Sin­ga­porean hote­lier and restau­ra­teur Loh Lik Peng to open a more per­ma­nent ven­ture. En­ter Burnt Ends, a lively Chi­na­town bar and restau­rant where din­ner in­cludes the the­atre of a buzzing open kitchen, out­stand­ing drink­ing, and a toe-tap­ping sound­track. Fac­tor Pynt’s fun take on bar­be­cue cook­ing and you’re look­ing at a good time that’s turned the heads of eaters from around the world.

Although the heart of the Burnt Ends kitchen is cus­tom-made grills and ovens de­signed by Pynt, the dishes can be faith­fully re­pro­duced in any back­yard here. All that’s needed is some­thing to hold the coals – a medium-sized We­ber, say, or, as Pynt has re­sorted to in the past, oil drums cut in half – and the abil­ity to think on your feet.

“Cook­ing over fire is very in­ter­ac­tive,” he says. “You have to fo­cus your en­ergy on the fire to make sure you’re work­ing with it rather than against it. You also have to be flex­i­ble. Some­times the fire will dic­tate when it’s time to cook some­thing.”

While bar­be­cu­ing with wood can be as much art as sci­ence (see Pynt’s ad­vice be­low), Pynt stresses that throw­ing a good bar­bie is first and fore­most about be­ing a good host.

“If a guest wants to cook, let them cook,” he says. “Get peo­ple in­volved. It cre­ates a con­ver­sa­tion. You’re not putting on a Miche­lin­starred meal; you’re cook­ing a bar­bie with your mates. It’s about cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment you en­joy.” Burnt Ends, 20 Teck Lim Rd, Sin­ga­pore, +65 6224 3933, burn­

Food styling LISA FEATHERBY Pho­tog­ra­phy BEN DEARNLEY Styling CLAIRE DEL­MAR Drink sug­ges­tions AN­DREW CAMERON

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