The past and the future have collided and become reality. The space-age lifestyle of the characters in The Jetsons cartoon, first aired in 1962, reflected a utopia that is fast in the making. Flying cars are already here. Germany-based Volocopter has marketed its VoloCity craft as the first licensed electrically-powered air taxi; and Japanese start-up Skydrive has partnered Toyota to test its allelectric air taxi; just to name a few.
But perhaps, the technologies that are the most difficult to get our heads around are those that concern our love for fine food. As epicureans, we are so psychologically tuned into the sensory pleasures of enjoying savoury, tantalising food that have come from conventional premium produce that the mind goes blank when we cannot bring up those mental associations. For some, that is the dilemma posed by 3D printed and lab-grown meats. For others, it’s more matter of fact, and boils down to the agenda of protecting our planet.
As epicure embarks on its 11th year of publishing, I would like to invite our readers to rethink and relook how they perceive food and its industry players as we highlight stories of invention, reinvention and transformation in this issue. The food technology space serves a bigger purpose in disrupting our existing food supply chain for the better good, and we find out more about the reality of 3D food printing and cultured meats from two of the biggest players on the market – Eat Just and Redefine Meat on
p34. We also interviewed Josh Tetrick, CEO & Co-founder of Eat Just (p56) to find out more about his mission as a social entrepreneur. As he rightly emphasises, the success of his company and others in providing large-scale production and distribution of affordable alternative food products would mean that populations in countries affected by poor agricultural production will be saved; and that zoonotic diseases will be eliminated, among other issues.
We highlight two other enterprising individuals who are making the headlines in their respective fields: Michael Baum, a Silicon Valley technopreneur and Founder of Vivant, who is harnessing tech to change the world of wine (p60); and Kevin Kwee, Co-founder of Kai Suites, who has launched Singapore’s first-of-its-kind luxury hotel for postpartum care (p64).
In our Entertain spread, we showcase dessert art that is different from the norm; it is not displayed in its usual glory to tempt your taste buds. Rather, it is ‘hidden’ as part of the landscape it is in to represent its significance in our lives. Think of it as an intellectual engagement instead of an emotive one. Think about the meanings behind the dessert art represented by the butterfly, the pearl, the honeycomb, the coffee capsule on p18. They may not be presented as your usual tempting desserts, but they will not disappoint in taste. Created by Executive Pastry Chef Cindy Khoo from D9 Cakery, these desserts are just several of many versatile creations that continually surprise diners at her patisserie. Read more about Chef Khoo on p14.
We also caught up with Chef André Chiang who recently made his film debut in Andre and his Olive Tree to find out how he continues to inspire himself and take even further strides in his artistic vision (p10).
Other chefs from the region also shared their thoughts on the past year and how they will continue to reinvent themselves in the future (p28).
Last but not least, I would like to welcome Master of Wine Richard Hemming, our contributor for our new Master Notes column. In his debut column, he talks about the necessity of vinovation amidst the traditions of wine making (p52).
Enjoy your read!