Singaporean is head chef at two-Michelin-starred Noma

Chef Kenneth Foong honed his skills at prominent eateries like now-defunct Betony in New York and Restaurant Andre in Singapore; as well as New York's Eleven Madison Park.
Chef Kenneth Foong honed his skills at prominent eateries like now-defunct Betony in New York and Restaurant Andre in Singapore; as well as New York's Eleven Madison Park.PHOTO: KENNETHFOONGKM/INSTAGRAM

Singaporean chef Kenneth Foong, 31, is the new head chef of acclaimed restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.

A Channel NewsAsia article reported that the former head chef at Cure restaurant in Keong Saik Road started working at Noma two years ago as an intern.

Nine months after becoming a full-timer, he was told the previous head chef, Canadian Benjamin Ing, would be leaving. The management team agreed that Foong would be the "ideal candidate" to take over.

Foong is no stranger to working at prominent dining establishments. He honed his skills at now-defunct restaurants Betony in New York and Restaurant Andre in Singapore; as well as New York's Eleven Madison Park.

His Mexican wife, whom he met while working at Eleven Madison Park, is also a chef.

In the article, he describes the energy of working at Noma as "palpable" and "almost electric".

"It scares some, but for the individuals that thrive off that energy, they just lean in and soak it all up. I am one of those," he says.

The two-Michelin-starred Noma, set up in 2003, is run by Danish chef Rene Redzepi.

The New Nordic restaurant was No. 1 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list from 2010 to 2014 before it closed in 2017 for a year. It returned to the list last year, ranked No. 2.

Reservations are open for its upcoming Game & Forest season, which highlights meat and other produce from the forest such as berries, mushrooms and nuts.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Noma reopened as a wine and burger bar in May and Foong says they sold more than 40,000 burgers in five weeks.

After news broke of his new appointment, the chef posted on his Instagram: "Today was a good day. I woke up to a flurry of well wishes and encouragement. Got to go to a place I consider home, cook amongst people I consider family, and do work that I truly love."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2020, with the headline 'Singaporean is head chef at two-Michelin-starred Noma'. Print Edition | Subscribe