WORDS CHARLENE CHOW
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.