We discover with this month's Hotelintel.co chef of the month that British is definitely not bland. Chef Kirk Westaway hails from South West Britain and has acquired his culinary 'chops' training under some of the world's most renowned chefs. Chef Kirk Westaway is recognized for his mastery in reinventing gastronomic classics that are easily received as comforting and refined.
Chef Kirk has redefined the restaurant 'JAAN' (whose name is derived from the Cambodian word for 'bowl'), by channelling his deeply rooted passion for natural flavors that are reminiscent of his childhood in England. His menu is continuously evolving with a philosophy of trying as best as he can to allow each ingredient to stay true to how nature presented it within every dish.
What does 'Reinventing British' cuisine mean? What can people who are familiar with traditional British cuisine expect from your innovations?
'Reinventing British' showcases British gastronomy reinterpreted through a modern and innovative culinary lens. Inspired by my hometown and long-standing passions, the 'Reinventing British' menu highlights expertly sourced, premium, hand-picked ingredients that are reminiscent of my fondest English memories, such as fresh seafood, strawberries and cream, and colorful salads. From the indulgent Devon Cheddar Cheese Buckwheat Pancake Ball and the Scottish Scallops; to the Devon Cream Tea or the Strawberry Cheesecake dessert, diners at JAAN by Kirk Westaway will be able to enjoy the exquisite taste of Britain, being continuously reinvented, here in Singapore.
If you could predict the next big thing in fine dining, what would that be?
I believe healthy living will gain more attention in the coming years, with a showcase of ingredients like vegetables and seafood like fish. Also, shorter menus will be the next big thing in fine dining. Long menus with 20 items are a thing of the past.
What are the challenges of being a chef today?
Diner expectations are high as diners get more discerning, which is something we embrace.
What's your advice for someone looking to become a successful chef?
Passion, dedication and perseverance.
"Don't give up." - A previous chef-mentor of mine in London always told me, and that's something that has stuck with me throughout. It has not been an easy ride but if you believe in yourself and what you do, you can achieve anything if you're willing to give it your all.