The concept behind Spanish chef Pepe Moncayo’s restaurant, BAM!, may seem like a curious proposition at first glance – a Modern Shudo restaurant that pairs tapas with sake. Don’t see many of those around. Then you go a little bit deeper and you realise that he doesn’t stop there. Sure, tapas originated from Spain so that’s owing to his Catalonian background, but where did the sake bit come from? And if you inspect the menu a little bit closer you notice that even the tapas dishes do not seem very Spanish at all. So, what gives?

There’s just no other way to put it. Here is a chef who is driven by his curiosity and what fascinates him. There is no lofty explanation of his culinary philosophy, he is not enamoured with technique, and yet everything makes sense in a straightforward and quiet sort of way.

Chef Moncayo’s culinary process always begins with sourcing. The discovery of the most interesting and beautiful ingredients is the starting point for his creations. To him, it never works the other way around and when he has the best ingredients at his disposal the rest comes easily. He allows the ingredients to lead him, and in the course of doing so, he deftly plays with colours, textures and flavours in ways that few chefs are equipped to do.

This training stems from his time spent in kitchens all over the world including Michelin-starred restaurants like the now-defunct Santi. His instincts have resulted in dishes that defy geographical categorisation, and can only, if still somewhat shoddily, be described as food with a worldly sensibility and global outlook as expressed through his personal experiences. But that’s not quite it either. Tethered neither to tradition nor newfangled gimmickry, there is something singular and heartfelt about Chef Moncayo’s vision for his menu that should be experienced firsthand.

And what about the whole sake pairing thing? After having a keen interest in Japanese culture for a long time, he finally decided to make a trip to Japan. During his visit, he toured the Katsuyama Brewery where he was first introduced to the idea of pairing food with sake. Blown away by the possibilities and different taste dimensions that sake could offer to different international cuisines, Chef Moncayo decided to take this idea and make it the raison d’être of BAM!

Simple as that. Unconventional and unorthodox? Yes, but why not? If it tastes this good, maybe some rules should be broken. Only a true craftsman and innovator would know.

Chef Moncayo is one of five nominees in a nation-wide search for Singapore’s most Innovative and Bold Chef in the inaugural GastroMonth Circle of Excellence Awards. After accumulating one of the highest submissions at the public nomination stage last month, he presented a judging panel of industry veterans with his boldest and most innovative dishes. The results of the competition will be revealed on 4th November during a gala dinner taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

Find out how you can get tickets to this exclusive gastronomic extravaganza after watching this video about Chef Moncayo’s most challenging endeavour.

Boldly Innovative: Chefs’ Series – Pepe Moncayo

It is hard to define the type of cuisine that chef Pepe Moncayo creates for Bam Restaurant. However, he believes that to be a chef, is to be an artisan, and that means always being authentic and never gimmicky. The last of our 5-part feature "Boldly Innovative: Chefs' Series" ends off with an unexpected answer from chef Pepe. Having managed a team of 25, find out what he says is the most challenging thing he has ever done in his life. Read more: you to all 5 of our Innovative and Bold Chef nominees! The winner will be presenting the Amuse Bouche at the GastroMonth Awards Gala Dinner. See you there!

โพสต์โดย Gastromonth บน 12 ตุลาคม 2017


GastroMonth Circle of Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner

In partnership with Lexus, we are proud to present the inaugural GastroMonth Circle of Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, with award-winning chefs from local and overseas Michelin-starred restaurants joining hands to specially curate a seven-course dinner. For the very first time, Chef Liu Guo Zhu of Golden Flower, Wynn (Macau) and Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant (Hong Kong) will be showcasing their skills in Singapore at the Gala Dinner, while the winner of the GastroMonth Circle of Excellence’s Innovative and Bold Chef Award will have the honour of kicking off this dining spectacle by presenting the amuse bouche for the night.