While the F&B sector took a huge hit during the pandemic, the silver lining for Regent Singapore is that the restaurant closures gave its chefs ample time to reimagine dining at home, giving birth to the Chef’s Playground programme.
Now that restaurants are gradually resuming dine-in operations, some are drawing on lessons learnt over the past year to sustain their delivery and take-away side of the business. At Regent Singapore, which is home to some of our city’s finest gastronomy stars such as Basilico and Summer Palace, its chefs are turning creative ideas born during the pandemic into reality.
This April, the hotel kick-started the Chef’s Playground programme, which emerged from its desire to offer guests more #TakeRegentHome options that were exciting, fresh and off the menu. Taking a break from their establishment’s daily operations, the chefs experimented in the kitchen to create limited releases that showcased their heritage, imagination and flair. These items would then be sold at 30 sets each week for four weeks, with their availability announced on social media.
The first creation rolled out in April from the pastry kitchen was the Burnt Truffle Ricotta Cheesecake ($128 nett). Crafted with cream cheese and ricotta seirass, a traditional Piedmontese sheep and cow’s milk cheese, the confection is less molten than most burnt cheesecakes but boasts clean, lactic sweetness and pure cream. For topping the cake a la minute, each set came with a piece of Norcia black truffle stored in a jar of acquerello rice, a truffle shaver, and a jar of Basilico’s prized truffle honey.
Thinking ahead, the chefs at Regent Singapore even recommended cooking any unused truffle with the rice for a delicious risotto, and suggested serving the leftover honey with a cheese platter featuring tart Caprino, semi-hard Castelmagno and delicate soft cheeses.
The second release, in June, was the Nonna Romana kit ($218 nett) curated by Basilico head chef Valerio Pierantonelli. An ode to his grandmothers and his childhood in northern Italy, the kit featured the best of his home region, with components painstakingly handmade from scratch. Presented in a crate, the items included “priest hat” ravioli stuffed with wine-braised oxtail; tonnarelli with guanciale (cured pork jowl) and pecorino romano; gricia butter flavoured with guanciale, pepper and caramelised onions; crusty ciriola bread; a bottle of Omina Romana Hermes Diactoros I wine and Basilico’s tangy and herbaceous disgestif Basilcello respectively.
Check out @regentsingapore on Instagram for the hotel’s next round of the exclusive Chef ’s Playground in September. Delivery of each purchase is also complimentary.
(All images: Regent Singapore)
This story first appeared in the August 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.