Chef Ranveer Brar is a fan of Singapore's famed Nonya cuisine
The Noyna cuisine from Singapore has always intrigued Chef Ranveer Brar’s tastebuds. And the ace chef’s relationship with the region’s cuisine strengthened further when he collaborated with Chef Bjorn Shen from Singapore at My Singapore Connect, an initiative by the Singapore Tourism Board and BookMyShow. The Lucknow-born chef tells us about his Singaporean connect, his favourite flavours from the region and more. Excerpts:
What images conjure in your mind when the word Singapore is mentioned?
As an avid traveller and food explorer, in particular, it conjures up images of contrast between flashy hotels and swanky restaurants vis a vis the street side ethnic, Mom n Pop type eateries. To me, that represents the wide spectrum of food availability in Singapore, both in terms of contrast as also variety and range.
What are the flavours that top your mind when you think about Singaporean cuisine?
Global flavours mostly, but specifically the flavours of the Sambal Stingray, Chilli Crab, Nonya cuisine flavours, not to forget the Tamil food flavours, which I typically associate with the ‘Veg Singapore’, come to my mind.
Singaporean cuisine is influenced by other Asian cuisines. Do you have a favourite one?
The Nonya cuisine has always intrigued me, especially how they treat seafood, the beautiful balance between the sweet and the spicy. The whole confluence of Malay-Indonesian-Chinese flavours come together amazingly and that’s what fascinates me.
How was it collaborating with Chef Bjorn Shen?
It was a great experience for sure. We hadn’t met before, but we will meet again soon. We share a common ground in terms of our individual culinary sojourn. Both of us share a journey that was fuelled by our passion, which may not essentially have had a strong sense of direction, but definitely a strong sense of passion. We just embarked and let the path take us where it wanted to take us. Another common ground is our fascination with Mediterranean food.
Thanks to ‘My Singapore Connect’ initiative with the Singapore Tourism Board and BookMyShow, I loved and was attracted to the concept of connecting with a fellow chef from another country.
Can we expect a future collaboration between you two, in India?
Absolutely something to expect in the future. We can’t wait to collaborate again. It’s just a matter of time once the global situation normalizes a bit more and travel restrictions ease both or either ways. Once that happens, we sure look forward to working on something together.
You have become quite active on social media. Beyond that are we seeing you on TV anytime soon? Or are you planning to write a book?
Social media has been indispensable especially during the pandemic to help stay in touch with people. Additionally, it was a good medium to spread some good cheer and positively divert their minds through food conversations and cooking. I currently have a new show called Chef’s Special airing on Star Plus UK. That said, I am indeed looking forward to work on another Television series soon. A book is brewing as well, on the lines of virtual exploration of my city Lucknow.