What to do this weekend

Posted on October 14, 2006 by Aun

Justin Quek, Passion & Inspiration, the first cookbook by Singapore’s most celebrated chef, Justin Quek, goes on sale across Singapore and Malaysia today. The book is great. It’s big, glossy and full of gorgeous pictures. It’s also chock full of recipes that are guaranteed to make you drool. Surprisingly, they are also very easy to follow. If you buy just one book by a Southeast Asian chef this year, this is the book to get. Justin’s recipes and his story, told throughout the essays in the book, are truly inspirational.

If you have some free time and actually want to meet the amazing chef, and taste some of his delicious food (for free), he’ll be making some special guest appearances today and tomorrow. Details are below:

Saturday, 14 October 2006, 2pm, Borders
Saturday, 14 October 2006, 4pm, Kinokuniya main store (Ngee Ann City)
Sunday, 15 October 2006, 2pm, MPH Parkway Parade

So, what are you waiting for? Call all your friends! See you later!

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Chicken Fried Gourmet October 14, 2006 at 9:18 am

    do you know when this will hit the states ?

  2. Chubby Hubby October 14, 2006 at 9:43 am

    Chicken Fried Gourmet: Right now, the book is being sold only across Asia. That said, Curtis Brown (Australia’s best and oldest literary agency) has signed on Justin and is working to try and sell the international rights to the book. Hopefully, they’ll find a US or British publisher that will buy the rights soon!

  3. Anonymous October 14, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Are we going to get a mouth watering account of the Justin Quek dinner two nights ago? :D

  4. Le voyage de kalos October 14, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    ARGH!!…I read your blog after 4pm…and am staying in the west… so I reckon I wun be heading down to the East tommorrow… would love to meet up with him….I used to see him ard at Au Jardin…when I was working there as a temp… I really have to say that he is impressive as a Head Chef… I would definitely get his book!!!

  5. Anonymous October 15, 2006 at 1:45 am

    I bought the book today, after reading it, i discover that some ingredients are hard to find..where am i going to buy those exotic ingredients in Singapore?

  6. Audrey Cooks October 15, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks CB! I was looking for a recipe book to get this month. I limit myself to only 1 a month or else I’ll have to shift out. I’ll check it out.

  7. S October 15, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Anon

    Many of the ingredients can be bought in Singapore if you know where to look for them (Avruga, for example, is sold at the cheese counter at Carrefour). Others can easily be substituted. Why don’t you let me know what you’re searching for? Perhaps I can help.

  8. Anonymous October 15, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    Doh! If only I lived in Singapore. I’m all about free food!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  9. Anonymous October 16, 2006 at 1:27 am

    Hi S,thank you for your reply.I am looking for summer truffles and truffle oil as I want to try his mushroom cappuccino recipe. I am a beginner, infact it is this fabulous blog by CH and you that inspire me to wanna learn and create more interesting dishes to entertain my friends rather then the usual fried bee hoon, curry and what not!

  10. S October 16, 2006 at 8:59 am

    Hi Anon,

    You can get truffle oil at Culina (www.culina.com.sg). A high quality truffle oil is really all you need to make the mushroom cappuccino taste luxurious.

    The summer truffles are a truly pricey indulgence (we’re talking hundreds of dollars for 50-100grams of the top grade ones). They are not essential to the dish. They give the dish a restaurant flourish, but the dish won’t fall flat without it.

    When Justin served it at his bookstore promotions over the weekend, he didn’t use truffles nor truffle oil. It was still an impressively tasty soup. And the frothy head makes it unusual (plate the way you would steamed milk for a real cuppucino, pour the liquid out, then spoon some foam over each portion).

    If you really want to get truffles, the trick is to make friends with a good Italian chef, one who will showcase truffles on his restaurant menu. Then ask him if he will do you a great favour and let you piggyback on his restaurant order. Do not use bottled/brined truffles in this dish. It will be a waste of money. Those sorts of truffles cannot be used in the same way as fresh ones.

    Actually, he suggested that if you have really fresh button mushrooms, you can just julienne them finely and use that as a garnish.

    There are two important elements to pulling of this dish well: you need a good home made chicken stock because it will form the backbone of the soup; and you need to have patience and simmer the mushrooms for quite awhile (he said that after about 1 hour, the mushrooms release their yummy umami flavours).

    If you try his egg cocotte recipe, instead of using truffle shavings, try topping it with a small portion of Tetsuya’s truffle salsa (also available at Culina for under $20 per small jar). If you don’t have one of those fancy egg cutting gizmos, just crack the egg into a pretty little cup or bowl.

    I hope you have fun in the kitchen!

  11. Anonymous October 16, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks for the fantastic blog! If I may also hijack this thread, I am facing similar problems in getting fresh ingredients… In my case, slightly (very?) ambitious, but am wondering where to get foie gras and lobsters… Appreciate any help you can provide.

    Thanks much!
    AG

  12. S October 16, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    Haha, AG. Don’t we all suffer from the same problem at some point. You can get foie gras at Culina (I haven’t looked in the last couple of weeks though). I have also seen frozen lobes at the Swiss Butchery.

    With regards to lobsters, I am very fortunate that I buy them off a chef friend. However, you can get them at Blue Lobster on Greenwood Ave. I am in the process of checking out another lead on Rangoon Road. Has anyone heard of this place? I will check it out and let you know when I can!

  13. Anonymous October 17, 2006 at 12:19 am

    Hi S

    Thanks for coming up with such a great book, I have checked it up at MPH and it has been given quite prominent display.

    BTW, I have a contact for fresh Alaskan lobster. Check this up: abbytrust.com

    oyster

  14. Anonymous October 17, 2006 at 5:06 am

    Hi S,

    I was also wondering where to get some ingredients, like spicy cucumber oil, orange oil, and lemon oil? Had posted the question to CH a while back, but guess you both have been v busy. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated – thanks!

  15. Anonymous October 17, 2006 at 10:49 am

    Hi S,

    Thanks very much for the tip. :)

    AG

  16. Ananda Rajah October 18, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    I bought a copy of Mr Quek’s book a couple of days ago at Borders, and it is superb – the recipes, observations about preparation, cooking methods, culinary philosophy (if one could put it that way).

    Above all, what struck me was the honesty, integrity and commitment to his passion for the kind of food he is so engaged with, and with such consistently, generous acknowledgment to sources of his inspiration such as his old friend Mr Igatius Chan, Mr Francis Yeo, Chef Chan Kwok in Singapore – quite apart from the rich and famous referred to in this most beautiful book.

    If Mr Quek’s culinary imagination and skills – the passion which is so obvious and vouched for by Mr Roux, and if Mr Quek has put Singapore on the culinary map of the world as Mr Wakuda firmly asserts (and I think none would dispute this)- it seems to me that that S (Ms Tan?), Mr Amoris Wang, and Bon Vivant Publishing really deserve equal recognition.

    The book is exquisite in conceptualization, but what stands out is the ‘rendering’ of Mr Quek’s culinary sentiments, sensibilities and knowledge in the text, and I imagine that this could only have been possible through S’s sensitive and warm ‘translations’ as it were.

    The book, in itself, is a milestone in international culinary publishing of the highest order coming out from Singapore. My congratulations and admiration.

    On technical (kitchen equipment) matters, I wonder if I could ask S (since she has been most generous with information about alternatives to the preparation of Mr Quek’s egg cocotte recipe) where can I get hold of the egg shell cutter in Singapore featured on page 249 of the book? While I’m on to this, would it be possible to get hold of that mandoline/truffle slicer (with an olive wood base?) featured to the left of the egg cutter here in Singapore? I can’t bear the plastic-framed ones.

    Once again, S, congratulations on a magnificent book.

    PS: Mr Antonio Carluccio, by the way, has an egg and truffle recipe which is similar to Mr Quek’s, but it is simpler, and requires the use of of the oven. My copy of Mr Carluccio’s book, unfortunately, is back in England, otherwise I would have shared his recipe here. If Chubby Hubby permits, I could post it here when I’m back there over Christmas.

  17. Ananda Rajah October 18, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I bought a copy of Mr Quek’s book a coupleof days ago at Borders, and it is superb – the recipes, observations about preparation, cooking methods, culinary philosophy (if one could put it that way).

    Above all, what struck me was the honesty, integrity and commitment to his passion for the kind of food he is so engaged with, and with such consistently, generous acknowledgment to sources of his inspiration such as his old friend Mr Igatius Chan, Mr Francis Yeo, Chef Chan Kwok in Singapore – quite apart from the rich and famous referred to in this most beautiful book.

    If Mr Quek’s culinary imagination and skills – the passion which is so obvious and vouched for by Mr Roux, and if Mr Quek has put Singapore on the culinary map of the world as Mr Wakuda firmly asserts (and I think none would dispute this)- it seems to me that that S (Ms Tan?), Mr Amoris Wang, and Bon Vivant Publishing really deserve equal recognition.

    The book is exquisite in conceptualization, but what stands out is the ‘rendering’ of Mr Quek’s culinary sentiments, sensibilities and knowledge in the text, and I imagine that this could only have been possible through S’s sensitive and warm ‘translations’ as it were.

    The book, in itself, is a milestone in international culinary publishing of the highest order coming out from Singapore. My congratulations and admiration.

    On technical (kitchen equipment) matters, I wonder if I could ask S (since she has been most generous with information about alternatives to the preparation of Mr Quek’s egg cocotte recipe) where can I get hold of the egg shell cutter in Singapore featured on page 249 of the book? While I’m on to this, would it be possible to get hold of that mandoline/truffle slicer (with an olive wood base?) featured to the left of the egg cutter here in Singapore? I can’t bear the plastic-framed ones.

    Once again, S, congratulations on a magnificent book.

    PS: Mr Antonio Carluccio, by the way, has an egg and truffle recipe which is similar to Mr Quek’s, but it is simpler, and requires the use of of the oven. My copy of Mr Carluccio’s book, unfortunately, is back in England, otherwise I would have shared it here. If Chubby Hubby permits, I could post it here when I’m back there over Christmas.

  18. christine (myplateoryours) October 18, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    Hi guys, I am actually going to be in Singapore for a couple of days in November (for the first time.) I want to get a copy of this book for me and one for a friend. Will they be difficult to find? (And, P.S., we have only three nights — where should we eat?)

  19. lobstersquad October 19, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    the book is AMAZING. I so wish I could be there to sample the stuff, but I bet even I can come up with something worthwhile cooking from it. thanks!

  20. S October 25, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    Oyster: Thank you.

    Anon: I thought I’d emailed you. Our server must be acting up again. We got the spicy cucumber oil from Graze. I’m not sure if they’re still selling it.

    For orange and lemon oil, try the health store next to Culina at Parkhouse (www.culina.com.sg) or Culina itself. What do you need these for? Would infusing grapeseed oil or some other neutral oil with orange or lemon peel work as a substitute? (Of course, you couldn’t keep these for very long.) If you need them for baking purposes, you might want to try Sun Lik on Seah Street or Chong Trading at The Adelphi.

    Ananda Rajah: Thank you so much for your kind words. They are much, much appreciated.

    You can buy the egg cutter at Sia Huat (for their address, go to http://www.siahuat.com. They have a store in Chinatown). The truffle shaver is from Tartufi Morra (the company Justin mentions in his essay on truffles). They carried it at Les Amis’ Lazy Gourmet and Sebastien’s many moons back, but I suspect that they don’t anymore. WMF has a pretty stainless steel one though. I bought one of the wooden ones myself. But I’ve since been told that the all metal ones are better because they don’t absorb odors.

    I’d love to see Antonio Carluccio’s version of the egg and truffle dish. Perhaps you could email me at s@chubbyhubby.net when you get back to England? And if we can get our hands on some truffles this season, we could possible attempt the recipe and put up a post on it.

    Christine: The book should be at Kinokuniya, Borders and MPH. I shop most at the Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City. You might want to make that your first stop for the book. Email me at s@chubbyhubby.net and we can talk about your itinerary.

    Ximena: Thanks!

  21. Ananda Rajah November 1, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Dear S

    Thank you for your helpful suggestions with regard to the egg cutter and truffle shaver.

    Will e-mail Antonio Carluccio’s recipe in December.

    And, I’m glad to hear that you, CH and Alix have been re-united!

  22. Anonymous December 12, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Hi,

    I placed an order with wwww.selectbooks.com.sg for Justin’s book. My bf LOVES cooking and he read about the book over the internet and won’t stop raving on about how good the book is (even though he hasn’t even read it first hand). I can’t wait until the book arrives in my mailbox, YUM YUM YUM!!!

    Jane – Sydney AUSTRALIA

  23. Solo December 18, 2006 at 12:43 am

    Can you tell me where can I buy this book in Hong Kong? Couldn’t find it in the bookstore chains i visited so far.

  24. Chubby Hubby December 19, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Hi, the distributor is Foreign Press. It should be on most stores. If you can’t find it please call them at +852 2756 8193 and ask them which bookstores they are placing it in.

  25. Anonymous January 11, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Hi S,

    Thanks for the tips on the spicy cucumber/orange/lemon oil – I’ll be sure to check out Graze and Culina! I wanted to get the fruit oils as I was interested in trying out some of Tetsuya’s recipes (e.g. Chequerboard Tuna and Hamachi with Orange Oil; Sashimi of Hamachi with Blood Orange and Ginger Vinaigrette; etc.). Now I just need to make sure I can get my hands on some hamachi! But hopefully Meidi-Ya or Isetan will have some…

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