SINGAPORE - Chef Anne-Sophie Pic of three-Michelin-starred Anne-Sophie Pic - The Restaurant in France is opening a restaurant at the Raffles Hotel. To be called La Dame de Pic, the 50-seat restaurant in the main building of the hotel is her first foray into Asia.
It will offer diners a taste of Valence in Southeast France, where her restaurant is located, and the cooking, as the hotel said, "reflects her search for aromatic complexity, combinations of flavours and powerful tastes that evoke emotions".
Joining her in opening at the hotel is another famous French chef, Alain Ducasse, who will open BBR by Alain Ducasse in the hotel's 122-year-old Bar & Billiard Room. It will be a casual, 235-seat restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean food inspired by Portugal, Spain, Italy and France, and will also serve Sunday brunch.
Singaporean chef Jereme Leung, former executive chef of Jiang Nan Chun at the Four Seasons here, makes a homecoming by opening yi by Jereme Leung, a 120-seat contemporary Chinese restaurant on level 3 of the Raffles Arcade, serving Cantonese classics and adaptations of ancient Chinese dishes.
The 131-year-old hotel in Beach Road, which is closed for restoration and renovation work, is expected to reopen in the first quarter of 2019. There will be 10 new and refreshed restaurants and bars, with about 1,100 seats in all.
Joining the three new restaurants is Butcher's Block, to be located at the Raffles Arcade. The 70-seater showcases high end meat stored in a glass meat cooler called The Vault, and cooked in an open kitchen.
Favourites such as the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was concocted more than a century ago; and the TiffinRoom, which serves North Indian food, will return, as will the Writers Bar, for hotel residents and restaurant patrons; and al fresco all-day bar and lounge the Raffles Courtyard.
Ah Teng's Bakery will be renamed Ah Teng's Cafe, offering grab-and-go pastries, drinks and ice cream at the Raffles Gift Shop at the hotel's Seah Street entrance. Afternoon Tea at the hotel's lobby lounge will also make a comeback.
A hotel spokesman told The Straits Times that the history of the hotel was important in considering which restaurants would return, adding that the Tiffin Room and Long Bar, for example, hold fond memories for visitors and guests.
This was balanced with a need to push forward.
"A key consideration is to ensure that Raffles Singapore continues to stay at the forefront of the city's culinary scene, and as such, our three celebrity chef collaborations are a series of 'firsts' that the hotel will introduce when it reopens."
Chef Pic, 49, who has four high end and casual restaurants, a hotel and cooking school in Valence; and restaurants in Paris, Lausanne and London, was a management trainee for a spell. But she ultimately followed her father and grandfather's footsteps, training under her father Jacques before he died in 1992.
She said of her new restaurant: "Like the Raffles, the Pic family's culinary heritage spans more than a century. Just like this beautiful hotel that will become one of our overseas residences, we are storytellers and constant seekers of excellence.
"To ensure our guests are happy, it is essential to be anchored in the present while not forgetting our roots and to be creative in order to imagine."
Ducasse, 61, runs more than 20 restaurants in seven countries, including France, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Japan. The jewels of his Michelin-star bedecked empire - his restaurants have earned 21 - are Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse a l'Hotel de Paris in Monaco,Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee in Paris and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London, all with three Michelin stars.
Hong Kong-born Leung, 46, started his culinary career at age 13. He also ran the Whampoa Club in Shanghai and Beijing. He now has a restaurant consultancy business, creating modern Chinese restaurants in hotels in China and the United States, among other countries.