In a parallel universe, Chef Brandon Teo could’ve been your average 9-5 white collar worker, instead of the acclaimed chef that he is today.
“I was studying Business Management at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), but then I got bored,” he says, adding that he knew where his true priorities lay when he realised that he was more concerned about making it to work on time (for his part-time stint at a restaurant), than making it to school to attend lectures on time. He was only six months into his education at SIM, but decided to quit to focus on cooking.
“My family wasn’t unsupportive or anything, but they were a bit disappointed about me leaving university, I would say, because university is the general path that Singaporeans take, and it’s also the path that’s typically equated to success,” Chef Brandon says. He has no regrets, however, dropping out and entering culinary school at Sunrise Academy. According to Chef Brandon, his time at Sunrise Academy was essential to him getting his foot in the door and building up his network of contacts.
“I’m quite lucky in the sense that I’ve never actually gone for a job interview,” Chef Brandon chuckles. “It’s always that there’s a job already waiting… Sometimes my colleagues move on and they recommend me to their new employers, so there’s plenty of opportunities in that sense.” He also credits the eclectic menu at Pluck, one of the restaurants he helms, to the myriad of influences that he’s had in his cooking career so far.
“At Pluck, the menu basically consists of food that I personally would like to eat. I’ve worked at French restaurants, Spanish restaurants, British restaurants, even a Scandinavian restaurant, so there’s a lot of things I’ve picked up along the way that I now incorporate into my cooking,” Chef Brandon notes. Where fusion is concerned, he’s more partial to a fusion of techniques rather than a fusion of flavours, and cites his chilli crab dish (named Locally Made Pte Ltd) as an example.
“For the chilli crab puree, it’s a very Asian recipe, we use belachan, shallots, tomatoes, so the flavour profile is not that different, but what we do is that we blend the puree up so that it’s more refined, and also our eggs are 62° slow-cooked eggs, not just eggs cracked into the sauce. We top it off with sous vide prawns and our own home-made mantous with hae bee hiam (spicy dried prawns) inside the dough. So because the technique is non-traditional, it makes the experience of eating the dish very different and refreshing.”
Other best-sellers on the menu include Wagyu Ready For Steak? (wagyu steak) and Land & Sea (pan-seared XL scallops with 48-hour braised Spanish pork belly). These two dishes are the ones that leave critics raving, and are must-tries if (or when!) you make a trip to Pluck.
Hungry and want to head straight down to Pluck for some of that delicious chilli crab? Click the button below to book a reservation via Weeloy.com, and you’ll get to redeem a reward (ranging from 10% off the total bill, to a free bottle of wine, to a free main course!) on the spot when you dine. Bon appetit!