What do Chefs think about Fusion?

by Reuben Oh @ 19 Oct 2018
What do Chefs think about Fusion? Chef Arturo Melendez of Hong Kong’s Tokyolima, Chef Ivan Brehm of Nouri, Chef Dennis Smit of Neon Pigeon, Joseph Sergentakis of CÉ LA VI, Chef Mervyn Phan of Redpan, and Chef Petrina Loh of Morsels share their thoughts.

“So now we have a global world, we can’t talk about fusion anymore – we can talk about the contemporary cuisine. It is, in my opinion, the evolution of fusion.” Arturo Melendez, Tokyolima
“To build something of value you have to be connected to what is natural, and natural doesn’t just mean the birds and the trees. It means the cities and the people, their history and their parents.” Ivan Brehm, Nouri
“Nowadays everyone is travelling – it’s become so much easier for us to pick up things and be open to them.” Dennis Smit, Neon Pigeon
“To be honest, when we create dishes it’s not about trying to fuse Asian flavours, our approach is more about taking local ingredients and products and using them with modern French technique.” Joseph Sergentakis, CÉ LA VI
“The Singaporean cuisine is fusion. 50 years ago, our forefathers redefined food. If you take Hainan chicken rice and bring it back to Hainan, you won’t be able to find anything similar. Food like wanton mee has been redefined again and again until it’s lost its original flavour. In essence, our history is already fusion.” Mervyn Phan, Redpan
“Who has the right to say sambal is theirs? If you trace back far enough, there’s no such thing as ‘owning’ anything. Everything is inspired by something, and that’s the beauty of what I do – the exploring of different cultures.” Petrina Loh, Morsels
Adapted from the Sep Oct 18 issue of Cuisine & Wine.