William Remy Bosini Campbell – Head Chef at the Wangz Boutique Hotel, Singapore
William Remy Bosini Campbell received his diploma in Culinary Arts at the famous Shatec Institute. With this diploma in his pockets, Chef William gained invaluable knowledge of and skills on what the world’s cuisines have to offer.
Today William is Head Chef of Wangz Boutique Hotel in Singapore.
When the love for Italian football becomes love for Italian food, the dream of becoming a chef is only logical.
William Remy Bosini Campbell – A Chef’s Portrait
William, today you work as Head Chef at the Wangz Boutique Hotel in Singapore. Did you have another profession before you became a chef?
Yes, I’m currently the Head Chef at one of Singapore’s top boutique hotels. Before becoming a Chef, I graduated with a vocational certificate in Mechanical Technology. It was only halfway through the course did I start to lose interest. It was a pretty mundane job to me at that time.
How did your career as a chef begin and what motivated you to become a chef?
This may be an odd one! I probably had love for wanting to be a Chef but never acknowledged it until I was a teenager. As a small kid, one of my idols was Roberto Baggio. He was a great soccer player and it was because of him I started adoring everything Italian! Which of course lead me to iron out my passion for what I wanted to be in life, the best Chef that I could be.
At Singapore’s famous Shatec Institutes, where you have attained your Diploma in Culinary Arts. Have many other foreigners attended classes at the Shatec Institute?
Yes, there was quite a few foreigners in my class but there were much more in the Institute. There were South East Asians, Koreans, Taiwanese and Russians.
Shatec Institutes is a well-known and established culinary school. What makes it special?
Shatec Institutes was the first hospitality school in Singapore. I think what makes the Institution special is that many notable people came from the Institute and I personally believe that these alumni are one of the contributing factors that made Singapore a global food and beverage hub.
In Singapore you have worked in many different interesting culinary places. How would you describe your culinary style?
I’m proud to have worked in various places as I’ve gained invaluable knowledge and skills of what the world’s cuisines offer. I’d say my style would be free flow but at the same time respecting boundaries of each cuisine’s foundations.
You also have experience with fusion cuisines, what are some of your specialties?
I’d say east meets west is the go to for fusion cuisines. Some specialities of mine would be a Salt Baked Kumara, Saffron Tagliolini, Patagonian Tooth-fish, Short Rib Pie and Chocolate Moelleux. All of which have Asian influences such as ingredients and cooking techniques.
What are some of your unique cooking techniques?
There’s many that I could choose from but if I had to choose just 3; It would be curing, sous vide and the good old open grill or josper.
Which of the lesser-known spices do you use when cooking?
Sumac, I just love the acidity of it. Galangal, it’s a citrusy ginger and it offers a unique flavour. Baharat, can’t go wrong with middle eastern flavours!
What are some of the lesser-known vegetables that you use in cooking?
Fiddlehead Ferns, hard to get here in Singapore and it makes an awesome salad. Samphire, full of flavour from the sea and by that I mean naturally salty. Celeriac, it has that natural sweetness and starch to it.
Since you are familiar with foraging and the farm to table approach – can you give us some examples?
I’ve done some foraging but not nearly enough of it though. There are quite a number of produces growing around us in Singapore and I’m sure the majority of people don’t even realise it! To name a few would be Pineapple Weed, Sorrel, Malay Ginger, Curry Leaf and the infamous Noni fruit!
You participate in food events like the Great Food Festival (Savour) Singapore in 2017. What did you create there?
As I’m a firm believer in moving forward with my team, I always include them for our creations. The theme for Tin Hill Social Kitchen & Bar was cultural. So we had to make 3 items that best suited our establishment. They were “Tiger Pie” (braised short rib in red wine, mushy peas and beef jus), Kelong Prawns (small prawns deep fried as it is and tossed with sumac and served with a honey yogurt sauce) and lastly, we did a Kangaroo Burger (beetroot relish, smoked paprika mayonnaise and brioche buns).
Go wild, but not crazy! – Chef William’s advice to his kitchen crew
What is your culinary setup as the Head Chef of the Wangz Boutique Hotel in Singapore?
We run the lounge, “bar”, in room dining, breakfast buffet, all day restaurant and offer festive menus as well catering to bespoke events. We change our set lunch menus monthly and all other menus every 3-4 months. Most of the products that we process are made in-house as I don’t fancy ready made items.
How do you transfer the “boutique” approach to your kitchen?
This is where I believe my years experiencing various cuisines come in handy! GO WILD but not crazy is what I would tell my guys in the kitchen when planning menus. That just being one of the approaches; The others would be trying our best to cater to every guests requests (it could be a la minute or beforehand that we have to create something special for them) and when we do plan a menu, we try to make at least 3 dishes that are interactive; It could be the Chef pouring soup into a plated bowl or the Chef adding liquid nitro herbs and vegetables into a ginseng fish fume at the table.
Can you share some of your latest creations with us?
I’d be happy to!
Picture 1 – Josper Roasted Baby Pumpkin with cashew cream, pumpkin & sumac mousse, seed ash, baby green asparagus and orange and honey foam.
Picture 2 – Octopus & Chorizo with textures of paprika (smoked powder, cream and foam), coddled egg, kenya beans and squid ink tuile.
Picture 3 – Seafood Stew, it comes with a melange of fresh seafood and what makes this unique is that we infuse Asian flavours like galangal, kaffir lime and lemongrass into the lobster bisque.
Picture 4 – Chocolate Moelleux with strawberry textures (gel, macerated strawberries and sorbet or ice-cream) with chocolate soil and forest berries.
Singapore is a culinary hotspot. What culinary trends / developments do you see in Singapore?
Culinary trends are ever developing from the ridiculously sized Epic Milkshakes to the modernisation of Singaporean Cuisine. I’d say that apart from middle eastern and “Eurasia” flavours becoming a crowd favourite, Chinese style hot pot joints are on the rise as well as unique dessert joints such as, a place called Non-Entree Desserts; they offer desserts in unique ways.
Singapore is known for a variety of different and excellent street foods. What is your favorite street food dish and place?
Singapore is a mix of different cultures and we do offer a culinary spread that not many countries do. CHICKEN RICE! It’s definitely chicken rice, between the roasted chicken or steamed chicken; I’d take a plate of steamed chicken anytime, anywhere! There are two places that I frequent with my family, Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice (Roasted Chicken) at Katong Shopping Centre and Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice (Steamed Chicken) at East Coast Road.
Is your kitchen inspired by local street food?
Yes, it most definitely is. Most of the ingredients and techniques that I use can be found in most local dishes. It can be herbs, spices and produce to cooking methods like blanching a steamed chicken or infusing a Wok Hei (Chinese term for capturing the flavouring of the hot wok into the food) into certain dishes.
If you had time to write a culinary book about Singapore, what would it be about?
It would be about our journey from being a nation not known to a nation known by the world. It would include the works of notable hawkers (personal favourite of course), culinary stalwarts (both Singaporean and not, that have contributed to our current status) and what would a culinary book be without recipes! I’ll collate the best local cultural recipes as well as some traditional and modern recipes that anyone could achieve.
Are there any other places in the world where you would like to work as a chef someday? (international job offers)
Yes. They’re Polynesia, Philippines and America.
Thanks a lot, William!
The culinary journey of William Remy Bosini Campbell is truly amazing!
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