360 Chef Series: Chef Fernando Arevalo – Artemis Grill (Singapore)
Why did you decide to become a chef?
It’s a long story. Well there are many reasons you become anything in life, but one of the cooler stories to tell is, when I was younger, I’d always been very hyperactive, and had trouble focusing because my mind was always thinking about many things at the same time. It was difficult to perform any task like staying still, homework, exams or sleeping, because my mind would never stop, and that can be actually be very hard, that feeling of never stopping, your mind always going everywhere. So when I started cooking, one of the things I liked about cooking the most, is that there were so many things going on. It was chaos that my mind couldn’t drift from, so it felt peaceful.
Did you go to culinary school? What credentials did you earn through your culinary studies?
I did go to a culinary school in New York and I have a Diploma in Culinary Arts.
Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
There are so many, it’s hard to pick. But I do know what quality I admire the most, and that is conviction. Chefs that believe in what they do so much that they change the world, despite what everyone around is saying. So that leaves many Chefs in that category.
Can you describe the type of food you are making at the moment?
I take inspiration from absolutely everything. I like fresh flavours. I like experimenting with different sensations, or things that go very well together but are not commonly seen. I try to take a lot of time in the things that I make, and in the end it’s all about connecting people to their food.
I take inspiration from absolutely everything.
How do you describe the (Singapore) food scene at the moment?
It feels like puberty. Everyone is eager to say something, to try something. There are millions of opinions, some relevant some irrelevant.
Besides your own – list three other restaurants in (Singapore) you absolutely love at the moment.
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, Ming Kee Live Seafood & Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant in Joo Chiat.
Do you have a sense of humor?
Does anyone ever say no to this question?
What is your favourite cuisine to cook? Why?
To be honest, I try to stay away from traditionalism, but I do like how Italian cuisine is so natural. It’s simple, not complicated. Just food and flavours.
It’s simple, not complicated. Just food and flavours.
What is your favourite wine? Why?
My favourite wine is the one the manager passes me every Saturday night when the work week is done.
What trends are you noticing regarding wine and food pairings?
I’ve seen a lot of organic wines and sakes in food tastings lately.
What do you do to stay current on new trends? Describe two or three of the most interesting industry trends right now.
I travel, and stay close to the land. Sourcing products. Listening to people’s voices. Reading. Keeping my mind open. The most interesting trends right now — sustainability is one, and food based on produce (it’s like the specific sourcing of something). It’s what I enjoy the most.
Keeping my mind open.
How involved are you with menu development and overall design?
I am the designer and creator of every single food item in the restaurant. I create the menu, design it, execute it and teach it.
Describe your last meal on earth.
My mom’s lasagna.
Monday to Friday 11:30am to late Saturday 6:00pm to late