Getting To Know : Chef Nicole Loh

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You might have seen her on TV as one of the 2 female chefs on Channel 8’s Simply Exquisite. In 2008, at a young age of 22, she won the Best Taste Award in the CityGas Chef Awards for her Ayam Buah Kaluak Ravioli, beating mostly her male counterparts once again. To date she has had the privilege to work with Michelin star chefs from France and now runs her own outfit Hooked!. We are pleased to have Chef Nicole Loh, my very talented young sister, to grace the first ‘Getting To Know’ interview.

(Image Source Credits : Danny Lim)

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Name : Nicole Loh
Professional Services : Hooked! (email : hooked@hooked.com.sg)
Private Kitchen: Table Of Plenty @ Siglap
Facebook Fan Page Link : www.facebook.com/tiohooked
Website : www.hooked.com.sg
Contact : 9239 2384

Interview Questions :-

Who or what inspired you to become a chef?
Cooking Master Boy on TV when i was in Primary School. My dad is also really into cooking, i witnessed lots of happiness around the dinner table, food brings people together.

How would you describe your culinary style?
A fusion of flavours and cultures from all over the world. A Nomadic Gastro Experience with local pitstops. A crazy Roadtrip around the World. YEEE HA! I love infusing different flavours and experiences into local food. Especially Peranakan. Yes, that’s my thing.

What was your first adventure / dish in the kitchen?
Butter Prawns. Didn’t work out.

How has your cooking style changed over the years?
Cooking style has pretty much been the same, still unexpected and fun but just more flavours introduced as i experience more cultures and food when i travel.

How do you keep pushing yourself creatively?
By just making whatever comes to my head even though it sounds weird. Believing that i can make anything taste yummy as long as i cook with love. By loving what i’m doing and never doing it because it’s a job. I pray when i cook too, the food becomes a blessing, it’s awesome. Try it. =)

What is the philosophy behind the menus you create for Hooked?
Everything goes as long as it’s fun, i love it and it makes me happy. I also never do the same menu twice. All our menus are customised for our clients. This keeps cooking fun and exciting for me. New tastes and flavours, never a recipe, nothing pretentious just love.

Uni Tangerine with trout roe on brioche crostini, Caviar with dill cream wraps – Chef Nicole’s Creations

Where do you find inspiration for your menu?
Travelling, wet markets, hawker food, TV, books.

Can you share more of your thoughts on the Singapore food scene?
I think we are very blessed with so many different types of food in Singapore. It never gets boring. My frustration is when atas places serve local hawker food and charge triple the amount without even bothering to create a new concept for it.

What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
Sichuan Cuisine.

Where do you like to eat during your off time?
Hawker Centres.

Shot Questions :-

Most underrated ingredient? Ginger Flower
Best culinary tool? Good Sharp Chefs Knife
A chef that inspires you? My Fiance and Partner in Crime Julius Tan. awwwww
What’s one dish you can’t live without? I can live without any dish. I can’t live without Chilli Padi
Favourite Singaporean restaurant? I dont have a restaurant that i love. But i do love Serangoon Gardens Chomp Chomp, Lagoon Hawker Centre and Old Airport Hawker Centre.
What would people be surprised to find in your fridge? Home Made Kefir
If you were not a chef what would you be? A missionary
One food trend that needs to end? Atas bars or restaurants trying to be different by offering hawker food at triple the prices without bothering to add their own concept, direction or creativity. There’s no love in that. Cheat money.

Fiance and Partner in Crime, Julius Tan
Fiance and Partner in Crime, Julius Tan

For up-to-date information on Hooked!, visit Hooked! Facebook Page.

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