Singapore’s private dining scene — where guests dine in the houses of chefs — has exploded in the wake of the pandemic. The scene started out with a handful of cooks serving up rustic home-style dishes but has now grown to include professional chefs trotting out degustation menus so polished, it could give Michelin-starred restaurants a run for their money.
The allure — besides the thrill of trying new dishes — is in the personal service and an intimate sense of hospitality often missing at restaurants.
Yet as avid diners race to secure bookings at private dining experiences, a quiet group of discerning diners eschew its trend-chasing nature in favour of privacy and a completely tailored experience in the comforts of their own space. For this set of diners, hiring a personal chef is the gold standard.
To be sure, this dining form has existed in Singapore for over a decade but chefs CNA Luxury spoke to report seeing demand skyrocket in the trail of COVID-19.
“COVID was a difficult time for F&B but I also saw bookings and requests for my services increase by over 100 per cent,” said chef Peter Rollinson, who is also the executive chef for Flutes, an award-winning modern European restaurant at the National Museum of Singapore. “It was actually challenging because I still had to work in the restaurant while trying to cater to the demand. I had to choose clients based on personal relationships and also how lucrative it is for that particular gig.”