As the year winds to a close and everyone clears their calendars for the festive holidays, there are some for whom the year-end celebrations mean more work. For chefs Eddie Goh, Louie Moong and Yap Wai Leong, Christmas is one of the busiest seasons.
The culinary whizzes did, however, find time to share with Insidesome of their all-time favourite recipes and their latest creations for this Christmas.
Asked to share his top recipe, the The Marmalade Pantry’s Chef Moong who has made the restaurant’s cupcakes legendary, picked a simple breakfast dish.
“The French Toast I created for The Marmalade Pantry is derived from an old French recipe. But I have given it my own little twist with the addition of caramelised pears,” said Chef Moong.
“This dish is a balance of texture and flavour that plays with your senses. Each bite is a mouthful of fluffy brioche and crispy caramelised pears. Top this with vanilla bean ice cream and you’ll have a party going in your mouth. To me, it’s the little things that make a simple dish more special.”
Colleague Chef Goh’s pick is the bistro’s Crispy Pork Belly with Mashed Potatoes, Coleslaw, French Mustard and Natural Jus ($32) which is done sous-vide. This method of preparation seals the food in airtight plastic bags which are then immersed for long periods in a water bath and cooked under low controlled temperatures.
Pork belly has been the chef’s passion since young. But getting perfectly cooked, crisp ones had always been the challenge.
“Working in The Marmalade Pantry’s kitchen, I have the space and equipment to experiment with all kinds of cooking methods. So, I dedicated a substantial amount to perfecting my favourite dish. I love the balance of tenderness on the inside, and crispy bite on the outside. It’s slow cooked for six to eight hours. Committing time and effort into cooking means a lot to me,” said Chef Goh.
Canelé’s Chef Wai Leong, who is in charge of the restaurant’s pastries, understandably picked desserts for his favourite recipe.
“I like to try out different baking methods to get the best results. My favourite recipes now are Lemon Tart because of the lightness of the tart filling, and Strawberry Shortcake because of the texture of the sponge cake which complements the freshness of the strawberry,” said Chef Yap, who was awarded the Bronze medal in Plated Desserts at the Foods & Hotels Asia competition in 2010 and was once a chef at award-winning French restaurant, Le Saint Julien at Fullerton Boathouse.
All I Want for Christmas …
This Christmas, Chef Wai Leong will be hard at work creating Canelé’s signature macarons (S$3 per piece) in flavours and colours specially for the festive season. But it may come as a surprise to know that he did not grow up observing the occasion.
“Even so, I was always fascinated by the festive foods like the colourful log cakes, fruit cakes, and gingerbread cookies. That is why I was inspired by these iconic Christmas items when developing this year’s Christmas collection,” said Chef Yap.
These days, his idea of a Christmas treat is “roasted delights and red wine before having a piece of flavourful gingerbread and a cup of aromatic espresso”.
For Chef Goh, Christmas is not complete without his Angus Beef Rib Roast.
“To me, it’s a hearty ‘Christmassy’ dish. Perhaps it’s the idea of people sharing it together, the rustic yet bold flavours and the aroma of roast that makes the Angus Beef Rib Roast my favourite Christmas dish at The Marmalade Pantry,” said Chef Goh.
Chef Moong agreed, “Every Christmas, I love witnessing the spirit of sharing - seeing family and friends enjoying a Christmas festive meal together.”
Helping them bond is his Chocolate Crackles, a well-loved children’s treat made usually of Rice Krispies Treats or Rice Bubbles, icing sugar, cocoa and coconut.
“In my younger days, I came across a Chocolate Crackles recipe. I’ve been baking these every Christmas for friends and family,” said Chef Moong.
If ever there is anything that says ‘Christmas’, it is a meal made with love. You can certainly count on these dedicated chefs to provide you with that this festive season.
Dine with us:The Marmalade Pantry