SINGAPORE, 21 July 2016 – Candlenut, a young Peranakan restaurant led by homegrown chef Malcolm Lee, received its first Michelin star at the recent inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore 2016 launch.
The only restaurant in this cuisine category to have earned a rating in, arguably, the world’s most influential food guide, its star turn marks a personal triumph for Lee and a landmark leap – in terms of recognition on the international restaurant scene – for the Peranakan heritage cuisine he passionately champions.
Started as a modest establishment on Neil Road in 2010, Candlenut pays homage to the food of Lee’s childhood, unpretentious comfort fare that was– and still is – lovingly and painstakingly prepared by his grandmother and mother. He found his true calling in the professional kitchen after brief stints helping out in an American bistro in Washington D.C. on a summer exchange programme during his university days and, later, at an immensely successfully student-run campus cafe at the Singapore Management University where he studied.
Upon graduation with a degree in Business Management, Lee subsequently won the first-ever Miele Guide Culinary Scholarship to attend the At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy. His initial obsession with trendy and modern European gastronomy soon diminished when he rediscovered and rekindled his passion for his own culinary heritage thanks to the Academy’s all-round curriculum which requires its students to learn Western and Asian cooking. Thereafter, the modern evolution of heritage Peranakan fare became his guiding principle for Candlenut.
On the Michelin accolade, Lee says: “I hope people, especially the younger generation, will no longer perceive Peranakan fare as old-fashioned or merely for families. I started Candlenut with the purpose of modernising the heart and soul of Peranakan heritage fare, and I am very happy that this traditional cuisine can now stand alongside other more established and fine cuisines of the world.”
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About COMO Dempsey
Original, innovative and dynamic, COMO Dempsey is a lifestyle destination that nurtures and cultivates creativity in fashion, food, directional design and new concepts. Offering an all-round new experience, COMO Dempsey integrates world-renowned retail concept store Dover Street Market, The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar, a relaxed but refined restaurant-and-bar by acclaimed Michelin chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Japanese restaurant Ippoh Tempura Bar, and COMO Cuisine, a new restaurant concept that offers signature cuisines from COMO Hotels and Resorts properties around the world. Candlenut, the world’s first Michelin-star Peranakan restaurant by chef Malcolm Lee is another establishment as well as COMO Marketplace, an up-market food emporium retailing the finest artisanal products to inspire the Asian palate.