Cook­ing Up A Storm


ZbBZ (Singapore) - - CONTENT - TEXT NG YIMIN /黄亿敏

Top chefs are team­ing up to whip up feasts called four-hands din­ners that both chal­lenge them­selves and de­light din­ers 最近流行“四手晚餐”,名厨邀请与自己理念相同的厨师来客座拼厨艺,两人四手给食客带来双重美味。

They say too many cooks spoil the broth. But some chefs are choos­ing to join forces with one an­other to cook up a storm. The four-hands din­ner, in which a chef in­vites an­other to cre­ate a menu to­gether, has gained pop­u­lar­ity lately.

A re­cent much-hyped pair­ing was that of An­dre Chi­ang of Restau­rant An­dre and Al­bert Adria of Tick­ets from Barcelona, who was crowned the World’s Best Pas­try Chef in 2015. Ola Cocina Del Mar’s Peru­vian-born chef-owner Daniel Chavez also held a third four-hands din­ner in July with famed In­dian chef Gag­gan Anand of Gag­gan in Bangkok, named Asia’s top restau­rant for the last three years.

Odette’s Julien Royer, too, teamed up re­cently with twin chefs Thomas and Mathias Suhring from mod­ern Ger­man restau­rant Suhring in Bangkok. The six-hands culi­nary ad­ven­ture saw tra­di­tional Ger­man recipes passed down from the twins’ grand­mother be­ing recre­ated with mod­ern tech­niques and sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents.

So why are top names in the re­gional gas­tro­nomic scene invit­ing their com­peti­tors into their kitchens? The chefs ZBBZ spoke to say fourhands din­ners give them the golden op­por­tu­nity to cook with friends, not ri­vals.

“The world is chang­ing,” Chi­ang notes. “Chefs from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion didn’t have the com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools to ex­change ideas with one an­other. With the In­ter­net and all the ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy avail­able to­day, chefs can learn from the best and finest from around the world and in­ter­act with each other.”

He has been friends with Adria for a decade, hav­ing met at top food events around the world. Both men have de­cided to work to­gether this year. “Adria will come to Sin­ga­pore first and I will fly to Barcelona later,” Chi­ang says. “We made a prom­ise.”

Work­ing with a culi­nary pro you are fa­mil­iar with can bring an ex­tra di­men­sion to the dishes, said the chefs.

Chi­ang and Adria aimed to whip up each other’s sig­na­ture dish. Chi­ang made Adria’s fa­mous air baguette while the Spa­niard recre­ated the Tai­wan-born chef’s sig­na­ture Camem­bert dish. Asked if they were afraid of mess­ing up, Chi­ang replies: “This is the only way we can truly work to­gether and be cre­ative. It doesn’t count as a fourhands din­ner if we just split the work in half.”

Mean­while, Chavez and Anand have en­joyed work­ing to­gether so much they have given their fourhands din­ner a name — GGGOLA, an amal­ga­ma­tion of their restau­rant names Gag­gan and Ola. “It’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery time,” says Chavez. “One time,

we were cook­ing Peru­vian food over char­coal in Bangkok. An­other time, we made In­dian paella over bar­be­cue for 200 peo­ple.”

Their most re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tion in­volves adding in­gre­di­ents to each other’s dish. Anand, for ex­am­ple, pepped up Chavez’s Pollo a la Brasa or Peru­vian grilled chicken with ba­nana, curry leaves and In­dian spices. This rein­ter­pre­ta­tion has opened Chavez’s eyes to us­ing un­fa­mil­iar in­gre­di­ents in a sig­na­ture dish.

As fun as it is to whip up a feast to­gether, mul­ti­hands din­ners do present some chal­lenges, such as the sourc­ing of in­gre­di­ents.

Giv­ing an ex­am­ple, Chavez says: “To­ma­toes grown in dif­fer­ent ar­eas can taste dif­fer­ent. The dish you’re good at may be pop­u­lar at the restau­rant, but you can’t con­trol how it tastes some­where else. You need to ob­serve and lis­ten to feed­back, and ad­just your dish ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal palate.”

Good team­work is also para­mount, he adds. “A suc­cess­ful four-hands din­ner de­pends on whether both teams can work to­gether, which is not some­thing that hap­pens ev­ery day.”

But a col­lab­o­ra­tion is worth the trou­ble as it en­cour­ages in­no­va­tion and teaches the chefs in­volved new things. French­man Royer says: “We work in our own vac­uum ev­ery­day, cre­at­ing food to feed our guests’ stom­achs and, hope­fully, their souls. But in a Four Hands sit­u­a­tion,when we col­lab­o­rate with part­ners who are in sync with our culi­nary phi­los­o­phy —magic can hap­pen in the kitchen. I strongly be­lieve in con­stant education and a life­long learning process for my team mem­bers. A Four Hands col­lab­o­ra­tion will also give the Odette team an op­por­tu­nity to learn from other top chefs.”

While th­ese culi­nary events are pop­u­lar and of­ten sell out quickly, the chefs in­volved are usu­ally not mo­ti­vated by mon­e­tary gain. Chi­ang, for in­stance, has his own rules for invit­ing other chefs into his kitchen.

“First, he or she has to be my friend and should be able to cook as well as I do,” he says. “Sec­ond, the col­lab­o­ra­tion should last for only a day, even though it’s not cost ef­fec­tive. With Adria, there are five peo­ple in his team. It doesn’t make eco­nomic sense to fly down for a day when you con­sider the ex­penses for flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion. But I didn’t hold a four-hands din­ner just to make money.”

He adds: “The chefs have come a long way to be here and I want to be their guide, to in­tro­duce them to Sin­ga­pore food, to take them to the hawker cen­tre to eat chicken rice, sa­tay, zhi char and more. If the guest chefs work the en­tire time with­out a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the lo­cal cul­ture, how would they im­prove their cook­ing?”

“With the In­ter­net and all the ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy avail­able to­day, chefs can learn from the best and finest from around the world and in­ter­act with each other.” — An­dre Chi­ang

在武侠小说的世界里,功夫高深的师父教徒弟时会留一手,但在当今的饮食界,名厨们重视的是交流,不吝分享。近期流行的“四手晚餐”(Four Hands Din­ner),便是名厨们磨刀的平台,主厨邀请客座厨师一起拼厨艺,在厨房里煮出火花。本地食客近来非常有口福,高级餐馆的四手餐会,一场接一场。

Restau­rant An­dre主厨江振诚邀请曾荣获世界最佳糕点师美誉的西班牙巴塞罗那糕点师阿德里亚一起合作;西班牙餐馆OLA创办人兼主厨查维斯则与连续三年获“亚洲50最佳餐馆”冠军的曼谷摩登印度餐馆Gag­gan主厨阿南德合作,这是两人第三度四手一起做菜。

Odet­te的法国厨师罗耶与曼谷现代德国料理餐馆Suhring的双胞胎厨师Thomas和Mathias Suhring,三个人六只手,让传统的法国和德国菜肴,迸发精彩。这些名厨各有来头,平起平坐,为何大方敞开厨房大门,邀请“对手”进来?







合作三四次的阿南德及查维斯,也“越玩越起劲”,四手联煮项目还有特定名称“GGGOLA”。查维斯说:“每次合作都不一样,一次在曼谷一起用炭 火煮秘鲁食物,另一次用烧烤方式为200人准备印度海鲜饭。”

最近一次合作,两人在对方的拿手菜里“加料”,阿南德给查维斯的Pollo a la Brasa烤鸡,加入香蕉、咖哩叶和印度香料。查维斯认为,由他人来诠释自己的菜肴,感觉很奇妙。


这次合作,兄弟呈现经典德国菜包括Toast Hawai­i芝士火腿面包、Spat­zle鸡蛋面,以及祖母家传食谱O­mas Eier­liko­r蛋奶酒。



查维斯分享经验之谈,“先说食材吧,每个地 方出产的番茄,味道都不一样。你的拿手好菜,在餐馆里人人赞好,但走出去后反应如何,是厨师无法掌控的。要学会聆听意见和不断观察,依据当地人口味随机应变。”








An­dre Chi­ang of Restau­rant An­dre and Al­bert Adria of Tick­ets aimed to whip up each other’s sig­na­ture dish. (Photo: Nat K)

Ev­ery GGGOLA dish has a unique taste and pre­sen­ta­tion. (Photo: Ola Cucina Del Mar )

Gag­gan Anand and Daniel Chavez have chem­istry work­ing with each other in the kitchen. (Photo: Ola Cucina Del Mar )

Odette x Suhring的“六手晚餐”,厨师们擅长法国和德国传统菜肴,让人吃出传统滋味。(Photo: Odette)

Odet­te的罗耶(左)和曼谷Suhring餐馆双胞胎厨师Thomas和Mathi­as合作。(Photo: Odette)

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