TOP TA­BLES

The In­side Ac­cess cu­rates the best gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ences for your guests so you can fo­cus on be­ing the per­fect host, says founder

Singapore Tatler - - CONCIERGE | SMALL TALK - Ar­ron Goh

cor­ing a reser­va­tion at the hottest new restau­rant in town; savour­ing a four-hands din­ner with guest chefs from the world over; or even din­ing in the dark—you’ve been there, done that. So when it comes to or­gan­is­ing your very own party, you want to of­fer your guests, whether it’s two or 500 peo­ple, a truly un­for­get­table gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ence. Look no fur­ther than home­grown ex­pe­ri­ence cre­ator, The In­side Ac­cess. Founder Ar­ron Goh says, “I see my­self as a cu­ra­tor rather than an event plan­ner as the ex­pe­ri­ences we cre­ate at The In­side Ac­cess are more than just run-of-the-mill events.” The hospi­tal­ity vet­eran, with over 17 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in Sin­ga­pore and over­seas, has worked across var­i­ous F&B func­tions. So it’s no won­der that The In­side Ac­cess is cen­tred around the per­fect ex­e­cu­tion of the ba­sics of hospi­tal­ity, de­liv­er­ing dis­tinctly unique be­spoke ex­pe­ri­ences, from yacht par­ties and chef ’s ta­bles, to food tours. What sets it apart from the com­pe­ti­tion is its ex­ten­sive net­works and close re­la­tion­ships with restau­rants across the re­gion, which en­able it to of­fer its clients in­sider ac­cess. For ex­am­ple, in the days lead­ing up to Restau­rant André’s clo­sure ear­lier this year, when ev­ery­one was scram­bling for a last-minute reser­va­tion, The In­side Ac­cess hosted a 26-course din­ner pre­pared by chef André Chi­ang him­self—an epi­curean mem­ory that will be for­ever etched in the minds of the 12 lucky guests. Goh tells us more about The In­side Ac­cess’ abil­ity to open doors to one of a kind gas­tro­nomic jour­neys.

What makes a memorable gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ence?

Get­ting the ba­sics right— the food, bev­er­age, ser­vice and space—is only scratch­ing the sur­face. You also need to en­gage the five senses. For ex­am­ple, the tem­per­a­ture and smell of the room, the mu­sic played, and the light­ing all have an im­pact on the mood and at­mos­phere.

What are some re­cent culinary trends?

Restau­rants are bring­ing in celebrity chefs; renowned over­seas chefs are col­lab­o­rat­ing with Sin­ga­pore-based restau­rants to cre­ate one-off be­spoke menus; and also pair­ings be­tween chefs and mixol­o­gists. I would like to think that The In­side Ac­cess is ahead of the trend. Since the first char­ter of our Chef on Board se­ries, chefs from award-win­ning restau­rants have come on board to pre­pare be­spoke canapes paired with cock­tails cre­ated by our in-house bar­tenders.

How do you pro­vide “the in­side ac­cess”?

We can get our clients pri­or­ity ac­cess to restau­rants such as Raw in Taipei, Gag­gan in Bangkok, and Odette in Sin­ga­pore, which would other­wise have a two-month wait­ing list. Our abil­ity to bring chefs out of their restau­rants and into any venue is an­other dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor. We live by the mantra that “the heart moves the hand”.

What was the most memorable re­quest you have re­ceived?

It was a se­ries of birth­day par­ties for one fam­ily, which started with a sur­prise cel­e­bra­tion from the hus­band for his wife. We brought in the team from mod­ern French restau­rant Pollen into their home. As a re­sult of the suc­cess­ful cel­e­bra­tion, the wife re­quested for us to cu­rate her 8-year-old’s birth­day party, and later for her 4-year-old and hus­band’s birth­day. Com­ing up with three dif­fer­ent con­cepts was chal­leng­ing, but we al­ways put our­selves in our clients’ shoes as if we are cel­e­brat­ing our own mile­stones.

Do you agree that bonds are strength­ened at the din­ner ta­ble?

I strongly agree. We have cu­rated quite a num­ber of Chef’s Ta­bles and one thing re­mains con­stant—the 12 guests who may not have known each other at the start of din­ner be­come friends by the end of it. Some of us catch up oc­ca­sion­ally to share our love for food.

TOUCH POINT The In­side Ac­cess’ Ar­ron Goh says that the re­la­tion­ships it has fos­tered with part­ners such as Pollen (above right) en­able it to of­fer clients in­sider ac­cess

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