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Mark

TMS Features —



Ivan Yeo

Chef and Co-founder of The 1925 Brewing Co.












SINGAPORE — With much of his fondest memories from his childhood revolving around food, it is unsurprising that Ivan Yeo, the chef of The 1925 Brewing Co, has his Teochew roots prominently show through in the menu’s offerings.



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Preserving History While Embracing the Future


At the heart of it, he wishes to honour the beliefs and ideals of his grandfather, who took great pride in the produce he sold, while also remaining generous with the knowledge, recipes, and experience he accumulated over the years. Thus, the co-founders decided to name their establishment after his birth year — both a tribute and a reminder of the values of the man they deeply respect.





At The 1925 Brewing Co., food and beer are thought to be inseparable; their menus of craft beer and food have been refined with a deep consideration and awareness for catering to the Asian palate. More significantly, Ivan Yeo shares sentiments that echoes that of David Chang, in that one of the most powerful and delightful moments one can have with food is when a dish transports you back to another moment in your life. It is for this reason that propels him to constantly innovate and reinvent; thus, the resultant experience at The 1925 Brewing Co. feels equal parts innovative and familiar — customers can expect an experience with flavours that they are familiar with, and yet cannot quite place, evoking a sense of nostalgia. As the founders themselves would put it, they are “[preserving] history while embracing the future.”

 

Read on for more on Chef Ivan’s thoughts —

What is your favourite go-to ingredient to cook with and why?

My favourite ingredient is fish. I think it is one of the most versatile ingredients to work with, it works as a main, a side dish, it can be fermented or preserved, fried, steamed, pan seared, raw, etc. Fish is very integral to my heritage and culture, being Teochew, we are taught to appreciate a good fish since young. Even as a diner, a restaurant is benchmarked for its authenticity and prowess simply by judging the fish dish that is served up. Besides cooking with it, I love the trips to the fishery port and watch the fishermen offload the freshest of their catch. The process of picking and choosing, looking at the clarity of the eyes, redness of the gills, firmness of flesh and etc, and then finally going back with a good catch, filleting it and then packing it is also very therapeutic for me.

How about your favourite cuisine?

I love local cuisine a lot and I really cannot bring myself to decide on one. I need my fair doses of malay, indian and chinese food throughout the week. I don't have a thing for western though, in general. 

Who are your favourite chefs?

Modern day chefs, Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, inspired me to stand firm in what I believe in and deliver the best I can. Andre Chiang for putting structure in the pursuit of placing Asian cuisine on the global scene and Francis Mallman, for cooking with passion and how to instil that romance into food.


Who has influenced your cooking the most?

Interestingly, I do not have a human muse. I draw influences from nature or by serendipity.

Kitchen tool you can't live without?

My Chef's knife.

Please describe your perfect day of eating in Singapore.

Breakfast, soft boiled eggs with charcoal toasted kaya toast and a cup of thick coffee. Lunch, beef rendang & biryani (indian style). Dinner, chinese mutton soup with rice, finished with an ice cool ching ting dessert. Supper, prawn noodles soup.

What do you think is the next worthwhile food/dining trend?

I think the next worthwhile trend is sustainability, and I am not talking about things like growing our greens, farm to table etc. but rather, F&B is an industry that thrives on waste. Chefs cut out edible portions of the ingredient to serve up only the prettiest or tastiest, all in the pursuit of perfection. It has perpetuated customers to demand that as well. Food supply chains dump tonnes of perfectly edible vegetables and meats simply because they are ugly etc. Fermentation, pickling and curing can solve part of this problem, and still be served up, considering the amount of probiotics that are present in the products after the process.

Fill in the blank: If I weren't a Chef, I'd be...

Drummer / Percussionist.




The 1925 Brewing Co.
261 Joo Chiat Rd
Singapore 427515


Website

The 1925 Brewing Co. has recently opened its newest branch in Ladprao Hills, Bangkok

80 Lardprao Hill Building
Lardprao Road
Bangkok, Thailand