“Tradition can also be modern, but start with the basics, and you will have a foundation to build on”.
From a diverse heritage of countries around South East Asia, coupled with a culinary education to match, Chef Randall’s gastronomic influences and interests are expansive.
As a boy, he grew up in a family that congregated around the idea of a good meal. With the Eurasians, a lot of flavours were similar to the Peranakans. They were also combined with his maternal Indian and Sinhalese roots to create a cuisine on its own. Baking was a mainstay in the family traditions too and by 14, he was making cheesecakes for friends and family.
Interest turned to passion when he made a decision to enrol in Temasek Polytechnic’s trailblazing culinary diploma programme for 3 years, followed by an intensive Bachelor’s Degree at the Culinary Institute of America, Singapore.
Randall found joy in the art of pastry and bread making, akin to watching a good movie with popcorn. Nick Vina Artisanal Bakery taught him traditional sourdough techniques and the labour of crusty loaf.
He went on to hone his pastry craft at Micasa Kitchen and Bar, heading the desserts with uncommon flavour combinations and reinventing textures and flavour mediums.
Randall joins Palate Sensations as Executive Chef and is in charge of running our culinary programs, pastry and bread making course in Singapore. He is also advising the Management Team on strategy and business development.
What makes you happy?
A glass of wine with my wife and playing with my cats.
What is your favorite part about being a Chef?
Exploring new techniques and trying new methods.
How would you describe your food?
Robust and full flavoured
What are three essential cookbooks on your shelf?
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
CIA Pro Chef Cookbook
What was your biggest kitchen disaster?
An exploding butane gas canister which damaged our fridge. Luckily no casualties.
Favorite way to cook an egg?
Fried and eaten with some soy sauce and a dash of pepper.
If you weren’t cooking, what would you do for a living?
Repairing motorbikes and bicycles.
Last weekend on earth – what would you eat?
My mum’s oxtail and rendang dishes.
“Being a Chef is more than just the skills of cooking. Considering your food sources and understanding the products you hold in your hands, conceptualising flavours in your mind and creating an experience, studying the past to make new of the future. How deep are you willing to delve in order to be that chef, set apart from the rest?” – Chef Randall Tailford