WORDS CHAR­LENE CHOW

Wine & Dine - - ABOUT THE CHEF -

Nouri, short for the word nour­ish­ment, is chef Ivan

Brehm’s first restau­rant as chef-owner. Started in part­ner­ship with the Un­listed Col­lec­tion, it em­bod­ies his core culi­nary phi­los­o­phy of ‘cross­roads cook­ing’. Bor­row­ing el­e­ments from dif­fer­ent cuisines, he cooks up fare "that al­lows for both the dis­cov­ery of new tastes and ex­pe­ri­ences while evok­ing a deep sense of fa­mil­iar­ity”.

For in­stance, silken cheese, a starter dish on Nouri’s tast­ing menu, is made from fresh milk and fin­ished with grated nut­meg, lemon and pick­led nut­meg flesh. De­pend­ing on the diner’s cul­tural ref­er­ence point, it can re­mind him of an Ital­ian panna cotta just as eas­ily as an Asian silken tofu.

The idea of cross­roads cook­ing is some­thing Brehm has been build­ing up to in the four years that he helmed The Kitchen at Bac­cha­na­lia from 2013, lead­ing it to its first Miche­lin star in 2016. His dishes there like foie gras sa­tay, choco­late uni pasta and Thai co­conut risotto were al­ready a hint of the kind of cook­ing he is do­ing now, in the way they draw link­ages be­tween seem­ingly dif­fer­ent cuisines.

Brehm’s abil­ity to pick out com­mon culi­nary threads across cul­tures stems from his mixed her­itage—the Brazil­ian na­tive is of Ital­ian, Ger­man, Rus­sian, Span­ish, Le­banese and Syr­ian de­scent—and his fre­quent trav­els around the globe. His four years as de­vel­op­ment chef at He­ston Blu­men­thal’s Ex­per­i­men­tal Kitchen at The Fat Duck, and stints at restau­rants such as Per Se in New York and Hi­bis­cus in Lon­don, also pre­pared him to bring dif­fer­ent flavours to­gether on a plate.

In this is­sue, Brehm show­cases five fish recipes (p.44) that il­lus­trate his inim­itable style.

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