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CHEFS & FOOD CRAFTERS

Japanese-Inspired Halal Sweets: Miru Dessert Cafe

Jolyn Tan and Rodney Ng created Miru Dessert Cafe to share their love for sweet things with other like-minded people. It took a while to find them, though. When the cafe in Kuala Lumpur opened its doors four years ago, the first few customers walked out without trying anything. “They wanted pasta or asked for rice [dishes], but were surprised that these items were not available,” Tan explains. The initial response shocked the Miru Dessert Cafe team, Tan says. Both …

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 …

Kemaman Fat Boy: Keropok Ikan

After moving to Kuala Lumpur, Jayden Koay notice something fishy: the local keropok just wasn’t up to scratch. The keropok (fish crackers) in the capital had a sour taste; he suspected there was too much flour in the recipe. He longed for the fried keropok from his hometown of Kemaman, on Malaysia’s east coast. This gave Koay an idea. If he wanted good keropok, others in Kuala Lumpur probably did too. There might even be enough demand to support a business. He also …

A Whole New Level of Spicy

Monica Josephine can’t imagine a life without spice. The Manado native and Singapore permanent resident spent her early childhood years surrounded by Indonesian cuisine, which is renowned for its fiery taste and complex fusion of spices. This Indonesian heritage endowed her with a love of all things spicy – and set her on the path to becoming a foodie entrepreneur. Monica and her sister moved to Singapore for their studies when they were eight and nine years old. They soon found …

Toying with Tempeh in Malaysia

Returning to Malaysia in 2013 after 15 years working in Singapore, 48-year-old Alzari “Joey” Mahshar set himself a mission – to popularise tempeh in his home country. Tempeh is a soya bean cake from Indonesia made with natural culturing and a controlled fermentation process that binds soya beans. A staple in Indonesia, it goes well with salads, spicy condiments or as crisps. One of Joey’s fondest memories of Singapore was enjoying tempeh. Being so close to Indonesia, tempeh is easy …

Spread the Love: Bacon Jam

Breaking food stereotypes is one of the major challenges that innovative artisanal food producers face That was certainly the case for home-based Five & Two Foods after it launched its bacon jam range. “They [customers] thought it was bacon with strawberry jam,” explains co-founder Georgina Fernandez, 44. There was uncertainty over how to respond. Fernandez recalls discussing the problem with her husband and business partner, John Peter, when they first started the business in 2013. “I remember him telling me …

FARMERS

Growing the Goat Herd at Hay Dairies

Leon Hay is the proud father to 700 goats. The business director and second-generation owner of Singapore’s only goat farm, Hay Dairies, he has committed the rest of his working life to tending to his herd. Running a goat farm is like raising a very large family, says Hay. And milking goats and feeding them by hand every morning is just a small part it. “We care for them from the day they are born, till the day they have …

Everleaf: Organic Produce from Farm to Table

A search for chemical- and pesticide-free vegetables has brought two Malaysian university friends together in more ways than one. Monash University graduates Clarence Chin and C K Chia had both seen family members or close friends fall ill and were looking for answers. They say their loved ones did not have poor lifestyle habits or genes that predisposed to chronic illnesses. Chia says his late mother, who passed away from cancer five years ago, grew her own vegetables and was …

Kebun Kaki Bukit: Sustainable Farming as a Sustainable Business

Seaweed, egg shells, cow manure, coffee grounds and fish guts: to you and me, it probably doesn’t sound that tasty. Turns out though that fig trees love it – at least, when it’s broken down into a 100 percent organic fertiliser. This is the magic recipe that is driving success at Kebun Kaki Bukit, an organic farm in near Bentong in Pahang, about 70 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur. The name means “farm at the foot of the hills” in Malay, …

City Farm: Enabling Vertical Farming in KL

City Farm was born out of a mixture of boredom, curiousity and idleness. One of the Kuala Lumpur-based company’s co-founders decided on a whim to buy a grow kit from Amazon; his three university mates promptly followed suit. Jayden Koay, Looi Choon Beng, Low Cheng Yang and Johanson Chew had no background in agriculture, and almost no knowledge. But armed with their grow kits, they were soon addicted to hydroponics. “There was this ‘wow’ factor to urban farming when we bought …

Malaysia’s Free-Range Chicken Pioneer: DQ Clean Chicken

  Norhana Pettire had no idea that a hunt for organic durians in Bentong would end with her managing a free-range chicken farm. Norhana, who is better known as Anna, had heard some organic durians were available in Bentong, Pahang. So, one day in the late 90s she set off on the 70-kilometre drive from Kuala Lumpur. She was surprised at how cheap the fruit was – only RM2.50 (SG$0.85) per kilogram – and saw a business opportunity. She cut …

Urban Hijau: On a Mission to Meet the City Gardener’s Needs

Impatient for your next crop of brinjal or chilli? Can’t wait for those delicious cherry tomatoes to ripen? Social enterprise Urban Hijau is here to help. It promises to take much of the waiting – if not the work – out of gardening by delivering an “instant” crop of veggies. Urban Hijau does this by preparing seeds for germination and despatches “baby” versions of a chosen vegetable to your home, where they can be placed in gardens or on balconies. …

SCENE

Cook with Kenwood @ Kranji Farmers Market

At a recent edition of the quarterly Kranji Farmers’ Market, Kenwood paired up with Share Food Singapore, a network of home cooks, for a delicious cooking demonstration of three flavourful dishes – Mee Siam, Bee Hoon Soto, and Kaya. The audience at the Kenwood Stage were treated to samples of Anne’s cooking, and reviews were unanimously positive! Here we speak to Loo Pei Wen, Director and Co-Founder of Share Food Singapore, and home cook Anne Leong and learn the magic …

Sprout: Farmers’ Market in the City

‘But it’s so far out and I don’t have a car!’ If that’s been your chief gripe about farmers’ markets, say no more. Sprout 2018 – The Farm-to-People Festival, is billed as Singapore’s largest farmers’ market… in the city. Centrally located at Suntec Convention Centre, this is one farmers’ market you can check out in air-conditioned comfort. Held over a weekend in July 2018, this maiden event featured over fifty exhibitors who offered artisanal, small-batch produced goods, drinks and delicious …

Kranji Farmers’ Market: A Community of Singapore Farmers, Artisans and Producers

The 12th installment of the Kranji Farmers’ Market was held over the Easter weekend (31st March and 1st April 2018). Organised by the Kranji Countryside Association (KCA), the Market is a much-loved platform which connects local producers with consumers, forging a community which greatly values the farm-to-table concept. With over 30 participating local farmers, and food artisans board, the Market was a bustling, lively affair, and one which saw visitors turning up early for a first look at a wonderfully diverse range …

The Kranji Farmers Market is Back!

Held quarterly in different parts of the Kranji Countryside and organised by the Kranji Countryside Association, the Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market is the first authentic local farmers’ market in Singapore. Local farm produce (vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, fish, milk, etc.), locally-made artisanal food and products, community workshops and family activities are all part of the market. Follow us on Facebook or check back here to learn more!

Farmers Markets in Singapore

As a small country where just one percent of land is used for farming, Singapore naturally has to rely on imports to feed itself. It does this very well: according to the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), Singapore ranks third globally on the Global Food Security Index, drawn up by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and is the leader in the Asia Pacific region. But as the local food movement gains traction, Singaporeans are showing a greater interest in …

The Farmers’ Market @ Central Singapore

The Farmers’ Market @ Central Singapore is now in its third year running! This monthly event is one of the Central Singapore Community Development Council’s programmes advocating healthy eating. This roving pop-up mini market showcases a wide range of fresh local produce and other organic products. For January’s installment, the market was held at Whampoa Community Club, a location primed to reach out to heartland residents and reach out it did indeed. The crowd ranged from young schoolchildren (mostly curious …

EarthFest Singapore 2018: Sustainability On Display

Now in its third year, EarthFest Singapore once again lived up to its billing as the Republic’s largest sustainability festival by welcoming nearly 7,000 visitors on January 14. Organiser Michael Broadhead says the festival truly “walks the walk” by adopting sustainable practices. All crafts, setup and décor were environmentally friendly and designed for zero waste. The disposable plates and utensils used at the event, for example, were cut up and converted into compost for a local organic vegetable farm, while …