Prestige (Singapore)


Heritage foods are a crucial part of our vibrant culinary scene as they are representa­tive of our culture and identities. Annabel Tan speaks to four chefs about their favourite traditiona­l recipes and the importance of preserving them.



Executive pastry chef of Capella Singapore

It is often the simple pleasures in life that bring the most joy. For executive pastry chef of Capella Singapore, George Anachorlis, this holds true with a particular afternoon snack and ritual he grew up with in Greece.

“In Greek culture, people often gather for an afternoon coffee and we always accompany it with a piece of cake or cookies,” says the chef, who is from Thessaloni­ki, the second biggest Greek city after Athens. “I remember this Almond Olive Oil Cake being on the kitchen table’s cake stand since I was kid. It was our afternoon snack with a glass of milk for my sisters and myself, or with a cup of coffee for my parents.”

The recipe was handed over to his mother and aunt from his grandmothe­r, and is prepared with simple ingredient­s that are commonly found in all Greek households, such as yoghurt, almonds and extra virgin olive oil. Since learning it, he has not tweaked the original recipe.

However, in addition to baking this cake to share with friends, the pastry chef has also used the recipe as a base to create new pastries like Lemon Blueberry Almond Olive Oil Cupcakes and Apricot Pistachio Pie. “It is always an interestin­g experiment to develop a cake with new products that still reflect your culture and, in the process, produce something beautiful. This will allow us to have our own contributi­on to tradition and create new recipes that can possibly be called ‘heritage recipes’ for our grandchild­ren,” he says.

“Food is a part of each country’s history and culture. Preserving heritage recipes is a safeguard to protect one’s culture and heritage. I believe it is our responsibi­lity to preserve our roots and hand them over to next generation.”


100g eggs

12g orange zest 5g lemon zest

50g milk

120g extra virgin olive oil 100g Greek yoghurt 250g ground almond 200g sugar

100g flour

10g baking powder 10g vanilla extract

• Mix the eggs, orange and lemon zest, milk, olive oil, Greek yoghurt, ground almonds, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract in a large bowl until combined.

• Set aside to chill for 2 hours.

• Brush a 20cm cake mould or baking tray with olive oil and pour in the cake mixture.

• Sprinkle some roasted almond flakes on top and bake at 160°C for 45 mins.


Chef-founder of NAE:UM

The history of kimchi, the quintessen­tial Korean side dish, dates back to over 3,000 years ago, when Koreans needed a way to preserve vegetables to survive the harsh winter. There are about 200 kimchi varieties today, and every family has their own recipe and way of making it.

For Korean chef Louis Han, founder of NAE:UM restaurant, a family favourite is Baek Kimchi (white kimchi), which he learnt to make from his grandmothe­r. In the typical way of traditiona­l Asian cooking, his grandmothe­r never had a fixed recipe and did not like giving step-by-step instructio­ns. “To her, the process is instinctiv­e,” says Han. “Hence this recipe is my own reverse engineerin­g, based on taste and observatio­n of the ingredient­s she tosses in through her ‘gut feel’.”

He prepares large quantities of Baek Kimchi fortnightl­y at NAE:UM, for the signature somyeon (buckwheat noodles) dish, as well as with a rice course as part of the banchan (small side dishes). “I find the kimchi-making process calming – not sure if my kitchen team feels the same though!” he jokes. Han has also adjusted the measuremen­ts of ingredient­s in his recipe over time to accommodat­e the climate in Singapore.

“Preserving heritage recipes is very important because without our past we don’t have our present and future,” he adds. “For me and for every Korean, homemade kimchi and banchan remind us of the warmth of home and family. My childhood memories, like this kimchi, ferment over time and become happy nostalgia. Would it be a stretch to say that my family’s kimchi inspired me to create NAE:UM? Without that familial nostalgia, I would not have taken this path, I think.”


1 napa cabbage

1 daikon

2 stalks of spring onion

1 apple

1 onion

50g garlic

10g ginger

30g sugar

20g fish sauce

120g sea salt

1 litre water

100g rice paste (made with 20g uncooked glutinous or white rice grains and 100g water cooked into a porridge then blended into a paste)


• Mix water and 100g sea salt to make salt water, in a ratio of 1:10.

• Cure the napa cabbage in salt water until tender (3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of cabbage used), then rinse and squeeze dry.

• Julienne the daikon.

• Cure the julienned daikon with the remaining sea salt for about 15 mins, then squeeze dry.

• Chop the spring onion into 6cm pieces.

• Blend the apple, onion, garlic and ginger together. Mix this blend with rice glue, fish sauce and sugar to make the marinade.

• Mix the daikon and spring onion into the marinade.

• Spread the mixture from the previous step into the layers of the napa cabbage. Leave it to ferment in room temperatur­e for two days.

• Store the fermented cabbage in the refrigerat­or for one day before serving.

 ?? ?? MAY 2022
MAY 2022

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