Norwegian-based Chef Mathew Leong recently represented Singapore at the Bocuse d’Or Final 2021 in Lyon France as the island nation’s youngest-ever candidate at just 26-years-old.
Normally Chef Mathew Leong is head chef at Michelin Plate Restaurant À L’aise in Oslo, Norway and during this year’s Bocuse d’Or, also known as the Olympics of the gourmet world, he finished in the top 12 out of 21 countries.
The prestigious culinary competition sees Chef’s from all over the world and in a recent interview with AsiaOne, Chef Mathew Leong explains that Singapore’s commitment to being the world’s greenest city was his motivation behind his dishes as the competition theme this year placed a strong emphasis on sustainability and nature.
Speaking about Singapore’s hawker culture and the island state being home to the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal, Chef Mathew Leong admits to craving “All the local food and drinks that cannot be found in Norway!” Due to the pandemic, Chef Mathew Leong has not been back in Singapore for more than two years besides his mum’s signature dishes, he really misses eating local food like ou jian, hokkien mee, chilli crab, satay, and drinking my favorite teh-peng.
When talking about the future, Chef Mathew Leong says, “My next aim in my career is to own a fine dining restaurant that is listed in the Michelin guide.” His goal is to earn his first Michelin star within one year of opening and be the youngest chef to own a three-starred Michelin restaurant before the age of 31.
“Besides owning a fine dining restaurant, I’d also like to have my own chain of bistros around the world, which specialize in Asian cuisine that has a Nordic influence. Though I am based here in Norway, as a Singaporean, it’d be great to open my own restaurant in my homeland, before expanding my footprint across the region,” he says.
Read the full interview here