Nanyang Polytechnic celebrates SG50 with cookbook

Nanyang Polytechnic student Celine Lee adding the final touches to her reinterpretation of carrot cake at the launch of The Singapore Heritage Cookbook: Past, Present, Future yesterday.
Nanyang Polytechnic student Celine Lee adding the final touches to her reinterpretation of carrot cake at the launch of The Singapore Heritage Cookbook: Past, Present, Future yesterday.PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

HAINANESE chicken rice, old-style chilli crab and satay are some of the local dishes being showcased and re-invented in a new heritage cookbook commissioned by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).

The Singapore Heritage Cookbook: Past, Present, Future was launched at NYP yesterday. Said the polytechnic's deputy principal, Mr Henry Heng: "We wanted to do something in conjunction with SG50, and what better way to celebrate than through food?"

Marina Mandarin Hotel executive chef Tony Khoo, an author of the book, said: "It is also our aim to keep our cherished food legacy alive." He wrote the cookbook with Dr Leslie Tay, a family doctor who has a popular food blog (ieatishootipost).

The book traces the history and evolution of 12 dishes, and explores how they can be given a new twist.

Six recipes were given a modern take by students from the polytechnic's Diploma in Food and Beverage Business course. They are third-year student Celine Lee, 19, and fresh graduate Mohamed Noorhadi Habib Mohameed, 20.

"To be involved in this project is like a dream come true," said Mr Mohamed Noorhadi. He created recipes such as a torched sous vide lamb version of satay and an open-faced kueh pie tee with crabmeat salad.

For now, the cookbook will be available at auctions as part of fund-raising efforts for various charities. Each copy will be sold for $100 to $150. It is not for sale in bookshops yet.

Said Dr Tay: "Even as Singaporean gastronomy continues to evolve, it is the same familiar flavours that bind the generations of Singaporeans who have come before us to those who will call Singapore home in the future.

"Through this cookbook, let us all eat together."

ngilaine@sph.com.sg