The team at My Private Chef takes significant pride in the dining experiences they create, and it is only made possible with the close collaboration of our chef partners. This issue, some of our favourite chefs – who will also be featured in our portfolio of chefs at the National Gallery Singapore – have dished out what it is like working on gourmet events, the challenges, the highlights and the efforts required to bring their recipes to life.
Chef Lino Sauro – Chef & Owner of Gattopardo Ristorate Di Mare
1. How long have you been working with My Private Chef?
Gattopardo has been working with My Private Chef for over three years.
2. How is being a chef at a restaurant different to being a chef at a corporate function?
At a restaurant, you “play at home” and all is under control most of the time. Performing outside and dealing with corporate clients can be challenging, but definitely very exciting as well as fulfilling, especially when we are working alongside established dining event agency – My Private Chef.
3. What are the most challenging conditions you have experienced for a corporate dining event?
Well, every function is different. Some could have a very easy format, but turn out to be super difficult. Others that we expect to be very challenging may turn out to be super successful and easy. One of the biggest challenges is to tailor a menu that can match a client’s needs as well as features a menu structure that can be created with the facilities at the offsite venue. Thankfully, My Private Chef handles the client liaison to ensure there is a good balance between client expectation and reality of what can be achieved offsite.
Chef Siang Teo – Captain, Singapore Culinary Team (IKA Olympics 2016)
1. What do you enjoy about working on dining corporate events?
I have been doing offsite catering for four years and every event is different, I enjoy the process of engaging with the client and helping them execute their special menus smoothly.
2. What are the most challenging conditions you have experienced for a corporate dining event?
Once, we had three VIP sit-down dinners on the same night at three different locations. The amount of logistics and planning involved is massive but I am glad the team pulled it off and clients were happy.
3. What sets My Private Chef apart from other event agencies?
The difference has to be My Private Chef’s emphasis on food quality. The team at My Private Chef have a stringent vetting process of all the chefs that they work with. And the best thing for us chefs is we do not have to worry too much about setup. The kitchen is already set up according to our requirements by My Private Chef. Chefs just roll up to focus on what we are good at and cook no matter where the events are!
Chef Stephan Zoisl – Director and Founder of Chef’s Table
1. How do you ensure that your menu complements the theme of the event?
First of all, it is important to understand the objective of the event and the clients’ expectation and preferences. This becomes clearer via thorough communication between client, dining agency and chef. Several other factors to take into account include the theme, budget and event flow.
2. What is the most creative menu or food demo you have created at a corporate dining event?
A few years ago, we did a garden themed event where we created an edible garden display. On another occasion, we created live edible art demos, where we did edible painting with liquid nitrogen. Such occasions truly allow chefs like myself to unite the chemistry between food, art and human engagement.
3. Why would event hosts choose to go with private chefs rather than employing the caterers at the venue?
Firstly, this depends on the client. Private chefs will be more flexible in creating something more unique. As there are less restrictions, it is easier for us to be creative. Event caterers can sometimes be very restricted by their own rules and budgeting.