Celebrity Thai chef to open at RWS

Thailand's Iron Chef Ian Kittichai is the latest celebrity chef to open a restaurant in Singapore.

He takes over the kitchen at Tangerine restaurant, located at Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) spa resort Espa, from next month.

The restaurant was previously run by Thai chef Forest Leong, wife of home-grown celebrity chef Sam Leong, who runs a contemporary Asian restaurant called Forest at the integrated resort's Equarius Hotel.

Tangerine's new menu is slated to be introduced early next year, and promises to be "light, healthy and sumptuous".

Kittichai is one of two name-brand chefs who will be opening at the resort next year.

Last month, Life! reported the opening of contemporary Japanese restaurant Syun by popular Japanese chef Hal Yamashita, who runs eponymous restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka.

Syun is his first restaurant outside Japan.

The restaurants will join the resort's stable of other celebrity chef restaurants, including French chef Joel Robuchon's eponymous gastronomic restaurant and his more edgy L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and Ocean Restaurant by Iron Chef America's Cat Cora.

Other celebrity chef restaurants in Singapore include New York-based French chef Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne, and steakhouse Cut by United States-based Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck. Both restaurants are located at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Kittichai, 46, is best known for his award- winning Thai restaurant Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok, which ranked No. 31 on this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, an Asian offshoot of the much-watched World's 50 Best Restaurants list put out by British trade publication Restaurant magazine.

He also runs nine other restaurants including Jum Mum Buns & Rice and Kittichai in New York; Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar in Bangkok; KOH by Ian Kittichai in Mumbai; and Murmuri Restaurant in Barcelona; as well as a patisserie, culinary school and dessert bar.

The chef says: "My goal is not just to deliver stellar dishes, but also to present dishes that are both sensational and healthy without compromising on flavour."

He grew up helping his mother run a food cart selling curries through the streets of Bangkok, and found his passion for cooking while working part-time in the kitchen at The Waldorf Hotel in London.

The hotel later sponsored him to attend cooking school there and he also went to cooking school in Sydney, Australia.

Over the years, he has apprenticed at now- defunct French fine-dining restaurant Claudes in Sydney under the tutelage of chef Damien Pignolet; as well as staged at world-renowned restaurants including the three-Michelin-starred El Bulli in Spain, which has since closed; and American chef Thomas Keller's The French Laundy in Napa Valley, United States, which also has three Michelin stars.

On RWS' two upcoming restaurant openings, Mr Jagdesh Kumar, vice-president of food and beverage for the resort, says: "We look forward to our partnership with these two highly regarded chefs. They bring with them a wealth of culinary experience and unique cuisine concepts which we are certain will enhance the variety of our current dining options."

This article was first published on December 3, 2014.
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