Saturday, March 30, 2013

elBulli Foundation x Catalunya

It was one of the most spectacular nights under the starry skies of Singapore. Culinary legend Ferran Adria and Chris Au, owner of Catalunya, hosted an amazing dinner to announce the launch of elBulli foundation. The venue could not be more befitting because Catalunya is now "home" to several staff that were part of Ferran's original team at elBulli.

A real honour to meet the legendary Ferran Adria, the man who is regarded as one of the best chefs in the world. Not only is he humble and nice, he is also a visionary. I was completely blown away by  the grand plans he conceptualised for the elBulli foundation.

elBulli foundation is a private foundation backed by Ferran Adria and Juli Soler, and will see the creation of two principal arms.

elBulli, the restaurant itself will be transformed into a permanent exhibition space where visitors can discover its legacy and culinary evolution. It is expected to open to the public in early 2015.

Visitors will be able to take a chronological tour to learn about the history of elBulli.

Visit the legendary kitchen where the creative team once worked their magic during dinner service.

There will be an audiovisual room where visitors can watch short films about elBulli.

The pop-up restaurant will be a gastronomy draw for many. It was a pity that I did not managed to dine at the legendary elBulli restaurant before Chef Ferran closed it on 30th July 2011, but I might be able to savour his creations when elBulli reopens as an exhibition space.

 There will be an elBulli store where visitors can take home souvenirs.

Ever year, elBulli will recruit 30 chefs from around the world to be part of its creative team project.  Working with the main elBulli team, the project will focus on research and innovation. Using cooking as a language, the project will also involve a multi-discipline interaction platform involving design, science and architecture.

The results from the creative team project will be published daily online and will be made accessible to the public. elBulli will also host a dining experience once a month as part of its fund raising effort for the foundation.

The second arm of the elBulli foundation is Bullipedia, a creative archive that serves as an encyclopedia of history of cooking. Its main aim is to give creative stimulus to chefs and to inspire individuals all around the world. 

Chef Ferran's vision is to create a curated search engine for culinary education and inspiration. Using technology to create something for everyone to learn with precision and accumulate knowledge in culinary pursuits, be it professionally or as as a hobby.

Spain will definitely be on my travel plans come 2015. Mark your calendar too!

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ABSOLUT ELYX Craft of Perfection Exhibition

If you are in Singapore this long Easter weekend, why not check out the ABSOLUT ELYX Craft of Perfection exhibition that is housed at a conservation shophouse on 47 Tessensohn Road. This unique exhibition is open to the public from 29th March to 5th April 2013, 11am to 8pm daily

Free admission to all, but the first 150 visitors daily (aged 18 years old and above) will also get to enjoy a complimentary ABSOLUT ELYX Tropics cocktail created specially to celebrate this exhibition. This is also the first time that ABSOLUT ELYX has a pop-up bar in Singapore.


ABSOLUT ELYX is a ultra premium vodka of real substance that honours the roots of Swedish spirit‐making tradition. Manually distilled in a copper column still from 1929, and made from a single harvest of Swedish winter wheat, ABSOLUT ELYX is the result of century‐old expertise, passed down through generations of Swedish vodka makers.

In line with its philosophy, ABSOLUT ELYX will be celebrating and honouring the art of traditional craftsmanship in Singapore. The exhibition aims to capture and revitalise the importance and significance of craftsmanship, exemplified in certain artisanal trade and professions in Singapore that may have fallen through the cracks of time.

ABSOLUT ELYX Craft of Perfection exhibition aims to bring to life low‐profile craftsmen, sharing with the public how these craftsmen learnt and honed their craft over the decades, and their experience and character that define their craftsmanship.

The debut features traditional keysmith, Mr Chow Ho Weng, who runs a little key‐making store called Handy Service in the heart of Chinatown. Mr Chow, aged 66, has been working with locks and keys for almost 50 years. He first learned his craft from his father in the early 1960s, when he was still a teenager. It may be easy to overlook Mr Chow as an ordinary keysmith who only makes and duplicates keys for homes and offices, a profession that one may not associate readily with the idea of craftsmanship. 

However, behind the seemingly nondescript occupation, Mr Chow was once the keysmith of choice for Chubb Vault Systems back in the heydays for Singapore and Malaysia, and Kumahira vaults of Japan, where he headed and put together a team that built vault doors for minting vaults for Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank of Malaysia. Unbeknown to many, Mr Chow is also a certified master locksmith and is a member of the Associated Locksmith of America (ALOA).

I was at the site inspection earlier and took some photos and this is truly an exclusive sneak preview of what to expect at the exhibition. Not only will you learn the history of keys and locks, you will also get to see some really cool artefacts and antiques related to key making. 

For more information and to stand a chance to win an invitation to the ABSOLUT Secret Party happening on 5th April, please visit:

A short documentary video of Mr Chow and his craft of keysmithing is available on YouTube at the following link: