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Food Artisans

The Accidental Baker

If you think Tommy Lee ever planned to be an artisanal baker, you’d be very much mistaken. Lee’s long and winding path to establishing Tommy le Baker began when he moved to France to study. “In those days, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I had an aptitude for languages so, to cut the story short, I thought I would go to France to study French linguistics,” Lee says at his “baking lab” in Kampung …

Raising the Sorbet Bar

In 2013, Sharon Tay was exhausted. She’d been working for years in investment banking in Hong Kong and Singapore and was looking for a more meaningful way to spend her waking hours. “In banking, you can work 24 hours easily at a stretch. If I was going to work so hard, why don’t I try to work for myself?” Tay says. So, just like that, she decided to enter the world of gelato. “Gelato makes people happy. It is more …

Singapore Chocolatier Pushes Taste Boundaries

Dried shrimp and fish flakes are probably the last things that you’d expect to find in your chocolate. But Fossa Chocolate, a craft chocolatier based in Singapore, is all about pushing the boundaries of taste, conjuring new varieties every one to two months that surprise even the most passionate chocolate lovers. Their shrimp and bonito dark chocolate was inspired by a trip to the famed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Throwing seafood into chocolate provided an unexpectedly tasty umami-flavoured treat, reminiscent …

Vegan Hummus Made in Singapore

Making hummus for a living is the last thing former flight attendant Teo Liwen, founder of Holymoleydips, imagined she would do. But here she is, churning out hundreds of containers of hummus for her loyal fans, in a shared kitchen every week. It all started when the 29-year-old travelled frequently to cities in the Western hemisphere as part of her flight attendant work. Brought in by Middle Eastern immigrants, hummus has long existed in those areas as a snack, typically …

Small-Batch Soya Sauce

David Soh was already hooked on soya sauce when he visited a factory owned by a friend’s father, but he’d never considered making it himself. “I love soya sauce, in fact the whole family also loves it,” he says. Having watched the process from start to finish at the factory, Soh immediately thought: “Hey, I can do this.” He then learned that several major manufacturers put preservatives, colouring or artificial flavouring in their soya sauce, and decided he wanted to …

Chocolate Concierge: Artisanal Chocolates for a Cause

Artisanal chocolatier and Chocolate Concierge founder Ong Ning-Geng may not be dressed in a purple suit and a top hat, but the enthusiasm with which he talks about chocolate bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain Willy Wonka. Ong’s romance with chocolate began with an interest in fermentation. Fascinated by the processes that turn regular ingredients into delicious and decadent pleasures, the 38-year-old pored over books and research on the topic. About 10 years ago, this morphed into …