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French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore

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10 questions, 1 portrait: who’s the Chef Felicien Cueff?

Felicien Cueff has been immersed in the restaurant industry since almost 20 years. Because he has always seen his mom cooking for his whole family, stealing so much food that she used to slap his hand with the spatula – he says with a smile, becoming a Chef seemed to be an evidence. Felicien Cueff likes the unknown, travelling: his cuisine is a way for him to discover and to share international flavours.

What brought you to Singapore?

My work. I was head-hunted by the Chef of the Hilton Hotel, so my first job was Executive Chef for the Hilton Hotel in Singapore. I have been here for almost 20 years now!

What is your favourite cuisine?

It is a tough question as I like everything. I mean when you love food, it’s tough to say… I can eat Thai curry like I can eat Indian curry or I can eat good Japanese sashimi and of course French food is also good but Italian food too like a good pizza is always good and nice tapas for Spain. I don’t have a specific favourite cuisine, I like everything, I love food.

Is there a French dish that you can only find in France and that you really miss?

That would be sweetbread which is ris de veau in French or calf in English. It is the gland that you find on the neck and it’s not easy to find in Singapore and when I do find it, it is really expensive. I like it when they cook it in a simple way with cream and mushrooms, it is very good.

What is the dish you can eat every day?

Definitely roasted chicken with French fries but it has to be homemade!

Do you have a signature dish?

Avocado nest filled with blue swimmer Crab combine with citrus, fresh herbs and ricotta cheese and topped with crunchy tobiko fish eggs. This dish was done in 1995 in Santa Barbara in California. I also do another version with lobster and caviar but it is of course more expensive, so I have to be a bit realistic and pricewise.

My signature pastry is the Strawberry Cheesecake. Another one would be the Petits Gâteaux (small cakes) for which I have orders every weekend. I make 25 Petits Gâteaux of 5 different flavours from peanut butter, white or dark chocolate crémeux, lemon, raspberry, vanilla cream… and it works quite well for parties or functions as they basically just have to take the box, remove the insert and pull it on the table so it’s not messy and very easy to eat.

Name the three kitchen tools you cannot do without?

One is the Thermomix, I have 3 at home, two for pastries and one for general cooking so I really can’t do without. The other two tools are the induction cooker and the spoon.

What are the places to eat in Singapore?

I eat a lot at food courts and hawker centres! Actually, I don’t go dining to restaurants quite often. I just like eating simple food like Mee Pok, Bak Chor Mee, Char kway teow… The hawker centre I would recommend is the one at Bedok.

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore