At Saint Pierre, service is attentive but never invasive. They seek to give you a truly homely and welcoming experience, much like visiting an old friend’s house. It’s Modern French Flair. Saint Pierre has comfortable modern interior styling overlooking the waterfront, which is difficult to beat. You will recognize the true magic of the place from the person who is responsible for it. Meet the unique person that the Emmanuel Stroobant is. Come with us to the world of taste, beauty, and sweetness of Singapore…
4th May 2018
Chef Emmanuel Stroobant
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M.: Let me know please, how looked like your journey to culinary excellence?
E.S.: To me, it’s simple. Everything I cook is from the heart and it’s an expression of meaningful personal experiences and things that inspired me. Dining in Saint Pierre is like a visit to my home and I’m always excited to share my life journey through food.
M.: …and how important is Belgium for you in this journey?
E.S.: Belgium is important because it is where my career began. At a tender age of 16, I began cleaning dishes in one of the co country’s best restaurants. I was hoping that this part-time job would help me pay my way through university as my first ambition was to be a lawyer. Whilst finishing high school and juggling between my studies and the night job, which progressed from washing dishes to be given the opportunity to peeling, chopping vegetables and making salads! At 18, I truly chose the culinary path and enrolled at a hospitality institute in Belgium. For four years I was seconded to various parts of the country to experience different management styles and cuisine genres. Fortunately for me, the training stages encompassed some of the very best restaurants in Belgium that included one, two and three star Michelin establishments. By 23, I opened my first restaurant in my hometown, Liege. It was an overnight success and after three summers, I yearned for another adventure to broaden and hone my craft. I started traveling and it took me through the continents of Europe, America, and finally settling in Australia for a period of five years.
M.: When did you discover that the law is not this one what you want to do in your life?
E.S.: I initially started washing dishes in the kitchen to earn money for my University studies to become a lawyer. Over time, I was given more responsibilities in the kitchen and I began to love the atmosphere in the kitchen and the vibe of the busy kitchen has inspired me to be a chef someday.
M.: Your dishes are amazing. They certainly deserve the greatest awards. Above all, they are a combination of unknown flavors. Where do you get your inspiration for recipes?
E.S.: The food of Saint Pierre is Contemporary, based on French technique using global ingredients, with highlights of Asian flavors, predominantly from Japan. A centrifugal technique extracts the essence of ingredients, resulting in lighter but intense concentrated flavors. I was trained in Europe in classical French cooking, with intimate knowledge of South East Asia in ingredients, cooking techniques and cultural sensitivities, having lived in the region since 1997. My culinary philosophy is don’t let the confines of what you know or can – do limit you to your creations’ and ‘willingness to think out of the box’. Inspirations could be drawn from an experience that is completely unrelated to food e.g. a family outing to the art museum. For instance, a canvas can inspire me to create or plate a dish a certain way based on the artist’s artwork. I will travel with my family on an inspirational trip to different parts of the world to see what other chefs are doing.
M.: What is your management style and what is behind the,, Emmanuel Stroobant Group”?
E.S .: The Emmanuel Stroobant Group started of as Saint Pierre, a single stand-alone upscale contemporary French restaurant that has grown into a fine dining restaurant, now at One Fullerton. It currently also has three organizations under its wings; Shoukouwa Sushi Restaurant – a 2 Michelin – starred fine dining Japanese edomae sushi restaurant at One Fullerton; Rocks Urban Grill + Bar – a contemporary barbecue restaurant with spectacular views overlooking the Marina Bay at The Sail @ Marina
Bay; and SQUE – Rotisserie & Alehouse – a casual dining restaurant with a wide selection of rotisserie items and international bottled and draught beers at The Central @ Clarke Quay and Maple tree Business City. The group also provides a range of regional consultancy services to assist individuals and companies with creative food and beverage concepts, from ideation and strategic planning to restaurant opening and beyond. In addition, the group also offers food styling services for existing establishments and innovative menu creations for specific produces.
M.: Let’s say, someone who has not heard about your restaurant will read this article/this interview. How would you describe in your words the culinary you create and what can the customer count on when visiting Saint Pierre restaurant?
E.S.: We Focus exclusively on ingredient s. The food is French but the ingredients may not always be. To preserve the identity of each ingredient, we rarely use more than 2 or 3 elements. The service is always friendly and we love to share/talk about our food with our guests. We are also very flexible on special request, could it be allergy, vegans or any special diet restriction. We also welcome children as we think the food is an important part of education.
M.: Have you got a favorite dish? And if yes, which one is that?
E.S.: I love a simple couscous. I am a vegetarian and when we make this dish at home, I always feel guilty of overeating. I love the simple expression of a few spices and vegetables put together, the texture is always amazing and it is a very “friendly” dish to have in a casual context.
M.: What should we wish you for the future?
E.S.: To continue to be surrounded, and working, with an amazing team of dedicated people who are willing to push each other to their limits and journey with me as I explore my craziest culinary ideas.
“I believe perfection is found in simplicity with natural flavors given precedence.
We try to be as organic as possible and treat all our products with
respect to bring you refreshingly exquisite cuisine.”
/Emmanuel Stroobant, Chef