Lewis Tay, Executive Chef at Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, with insides of the Singaporean kitchen scene. We have met him for an interview.

Why did you become a chef?

To interest and like to show case my cooking for family.

Back to the time when you learned to become a chef. Which cooking school did you visit in Singapore?

Singapore catering school, currently name as Singapore Shatec School.

Can you tell us something more about the cooking schools in Singapore? Do they focus on Singapore, Asian and international food teaching?

We learned all aspect of basic cooking from local, south east Asia and European cuisine, that included practical and theory.

How would you describe your specialisation of cooking/ what are your most favourite dishes you cook?

I like to liberate some native spice and herb into my cooking, as to give a unique flavour to the finishing dishes. I cooked most of the dishes as cater for customer need from Asia to Western.

Lewis Tay – Executive Chef

Sometime of your carer you spend in Nanjing China. Compared to the Chinese food in Singapore, what was different in Nanjing?

China food always strong and salted taste ,as compare to Singapore food. Singapore food using lots of dry spice and coconut, as china food are oily and heavy taste, of course not all are, but mostly are.

What techniques/ new dishes you learned in Nanjing which you are still using today?

I set up an upmarket East meet west restaurant when in Nanjing, 80% western 20% south east Asia cuisine. Beside, also help to revamped the buffet restaurant to South east Asia food.

Singapore offers lots of excellent street foot. To be honest, isn’t it hard to compete with this street chefs?

Yes, is an challenge to compare street food are cheap but no service. Some people still don’t mind to pay for good service , up market food and dinning in nice environment. Difference business cater difference grade of customer.

Back to Singapore you worked more than 6 years as the Executive Chef of the River View Hotel and now with Four Points by Sheraton. Within this time, how did the dishes and requirements from your guests have changed?

By offering more local cuisine for regulars customer but present in modern way.

Do you serve the classic Singapore dishes as Lakasa… and is there any room for new interpretations of the receipts?

Yes, Nonya laska my signature dish, is difference from local laksa, less spicy but more spice with smooth creamy gravy.

One of you other job as Executive Chef, is being the re-branding manager for the Four Points by Sheraton. Can you tell us something more about this job?

I’m appointed as hygiene champion to set up the new rule and regulation on full HACCP concept to ensure pass the hygiene audit by Starwood appointed auditor. On top of it, staffs BSC (Basic Score Point) feedback from guest touch point as to elaborate the overall score result. Menu plan to parameter set my Starwood standard . Prepare for Quarterly on Brand Audit base on GFSA audit standard etc.

Like in New York, there are as well in Singapore some urban farming projects for vegetables. Have you heard from them?

Never heard off, only knowing government in Singapore is implementing Green building.

The gastronomic scene in Singapore is changing very fast. What are the latest trends?

Sharing portion food, like A dishes of 5 to 6 item on the board for sharing. Beside that Korea café food also in the trends, like Fried Chicken with Melted cheese and friend onion with condiments etc.

If you would open your own restaurant, where would it be and with which specialisation?

Go for Local food , still high demand here.

Thank you!