Celebrities team up with chefs to create meals

Braised chicken with buah keluak is one of the dishes on the fusion menu based on actress Jeanette Aw’s An Oriental-Peranakan Fairy Tale. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - You've seen actress Jeanette Aw on TV, pounding up herbs and "cooking" a Peranakan feast on the Mediacorp TV Channel 8 drama The Little Nyonya. While the actress herself is unlikely to get behind a stove anytime soon, you can now taste the closest thing to that at the Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel's Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant.

She has teamed up with executive Chinese chef Brian Wong, and come up with a Peranakan-Chinese fusion menu based on her inspiration - An Oriental-Peranakan Fairy Tale. This menu is available all day at S$138++, and features dishes like a braised chicken with buah keluak and blue pea flower fried rice with egg white and scallop, as well as a baked lava cake with gula melaka and coconut ice cream.

Says Aw: "When I met Chef Brian, I already had a concept in my head. I wanted something fairytale-like that incorporates Peranakan influences into the food. So I made a list of my ideas, and hoped the chef would be able to create something out of it... I'm really happy with what turned out. He was very creative in creating something with a bit of both Peranakan and Chinese elements."

Aw is one of four celebrities who teamed up with four different local chefs to come up with American Express Love Dining Celebrity Edition menus as part of the Love Dining programme that gives dining privileges to Amex's Platinum Series card members.

Says Cheng Heng Chew, Singapore country manager for American Express: "Food is a big thing for Singapore. I think this is true for the whole population - food means a lot. That's why Amex focuses a lot on our Love Dining programme, because food is almost a kind of national passion."

At the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, Chef Davian Santang worked with Thai personality Pornsak to do a menu titled Dear Memory, which will be part of the lunch (S$62++) and dinner (S$79++) buffets at The Line on selected days of the week. This menu features dishes like a crab meat with pomelo salad and a curried seafood veloute.

Chef Chris Hibbert of SKIRT restaurant at The W Hotel in Sentosa has teamed up with pastry chef Janice Wong to incorporate her colourful style of food into dishes like a six-spiced SKIRT steak, and a rhubarb and pistachio dessert made up of rhubarb compote, pistachio custard, and champagne rose jelly. This menu titled Your World, Your Colours is available all day at S$148++.

As for Chef Armando Aristarco of The St. Regis Singapore's LaBrezza, he worked with previous Masterchef Asia contestant Lennard Yeong to pair Italian and Japanese flavours with a menu titled East Meets West: Purity. This menu is available for dinner at S$138++, and features a yellow fin tuna tartare with wakame salad and bonito flakes, and a 120-day grain-fed angus beef striploin with Italian rocket and soy-sesame dressing.

The Love Dining Celebrity Edition menus are available to the public until May 3.

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