At Michelin-starred Tate, Lau composes a refined French-Asian menu in a poetic series of odes a la Pablo Neruda. As the meal unfolds, each course is revealed as a celebration of the individual ingredients and their origins. These edible stories embody her artistic expression, marrying Chinese ingredients with classic French techniques.
Over at gastro wine bar Ma Cuisine in Singapore, Escoffier is also in the business of storytelling, turning out rustic French fare to complement carefully chosen wines. For him, every bottle tells a unique story which he recounts with colourful anecdotes of the winegrowers, vineyards, grapes and histories.
What do you think about four-hands collaborations in general?
VL: Four-hands collaborations are a great opportunity for chefs to explore the boundaries of ingredients, techniques and the art of cooking itself. I believe it is an invaluable experience and I look forward to the working with chef Mathieu Escoffier.
ME: They’re a fun challenge — they challenge one to think creatively, adapt one’s approach and do something completely different in a new territory. It’s a great opportunity to explore a different style in a collaborative nature, with the desire to surprise your guests with a new and exciting experience. It is a chance to showcase something beyond what might usually be expected of you.
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VL: If my schedule allows, I am always keen on collaborating with chefs who share the same vision as mine. I do not have any particular requirements as long as we are both working towards providing our guests with a gourmet experience.
ME: This is the first four-hands I’m taking part in. As Ma Cuisine does not fit the typical restaurant mould, I looked for a four-hands partner who respects our gastro wine bar approach where wine comes first and foremost. It has to be someone I admire in terms of culinary style, who understands fine wines and whom I can be inspired by.
VL: My four-hands partner has extensive knowledge of wine as well as French culinary skills, both qualities which resonate with my cuisine. Chef Mathieu Escoffier believes that every bottle tells a unique story and I believe every dish at Tate Dining Room and Bar does too. Together, we are merging our passions to create a special story for our guests.
ME: I had heard of chef Vicky’s inspiring work as well as her collaboration with Jeannie Cho Lee, a renowned Master of Wine, who curated Tate’s impressive wine list. When Tate approached me, I was honoured and knew this would be a partner who I could align with. Wine will set the scene as chef Vicky brings her eclectic approach to marrying Asian cuisine with French sensibilities, together with our classical French style that revolves around wine.
Please tell us more about the menu you’re presenting together.
VL: Despite the differences in our cuisine, we have created a menu that best reflects our favourite ingredients. Chef Mathieu is famous for his terrine of pork shoulder so for our menu, we have added a slight twist to the flavours, giving it an East-meets-West play on the dish.
One tip for guests to enjoy this collaboration to the fullest?
VL: Come with a hungry stomach and be ready for a scrumptious meal.
ME: I’d encourage our guests to come curious, hungry and thirsty as they compare our two visions. It will be an inspiring experience where guests can consider why each dish was crafted and how it matches beautifully with the wine.