Canadian chef Christopher Christie, who was the opening executive chef of integrated resort Marina Bay Sands (MBS), died yesterday (June 30). He was 55.
The cause of death is not known but The Straits Times understands that he was ill.
Christie was widely recognised as the culinary driving force who led a 400-strong culinary team at MBS. He was also responsible for running 48 individual kitchens, turning out 20,000 meals a day, creating menus, training new chefs and overseeing the food supply chain for the property.
Prior to joining MBS, he was based in Hong Kong, where he was the group director of food and beverage for Langham Hotels International.
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With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, he was also executive chef of several luxury business hotels, such as Langham Hotel Hong Kong; The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta; The Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai; and The Westin Philippine Plaza in Manila.
His contributions have also been recognised, as he was named executive chef of the year for the second time at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence earlier this year. He first achieved the accolade in 2014.
Mr Peter Knipp, 62, organiser of the World Gourmet Summit which puts out the awards, recalls: "On the opening night of MBS, there were 3,000 people to serve but you wouldn't have known there were that many people because the food was perfect. Chef Christie was not just able to serve a room for fine-dining, he had an ability to translate it into high volume.
"He was like a general who could lead any army to victory - an overall wonderful human being who personifies what a chef should be."
An MBS spokesman says: "Chef Christie was a tower of strength, grace and humility throughout his eight years with us. He was the bedrock of the food and beverage team, yet his touch extended beyond the kitchens and restaurants. His work ethic, sense of responsibility and professionalism were matched by an inimitable wit, charm, and good humour.
"He will be missed by the thousands of team members who worked alongside him, day and night."
In honour of Christie, MBS will hold a memorial service on July 6, from 3 to 4pm, at its MasterCard Theatres. It is open to the public.