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Rainer Zinngrebe
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How long did it take to put it together (what is the title and will it be available outside of Asia) .

I think if you take it all into consideration it took us about 2 ½ years maybe a bit longer. It was tedious finding a designer, a publisher, finding some money from people to help putting it together etc. It’s titled “Beyond Fusion – a new look at trans ethnic influences on modern cuisine” and it is suppose to be available in the U.S. and hopefully we will find a publisher for the UK and Australia, which would be a great market as the forewords in the book were written by Anton Mosimann and Pierre Koffmann. The publishing date is around the end of September for Asia.

What about food trends.....Is the organic food movement a big issue there as it is in Europe and North America?

Food trends here are very diverse, the multitude of ethnic foods available due to the racial mixture here is enormous. Fusion is still big and modern European is also hip. Organic food is still not a big thing and due to the limited supplies of it won’t be a trend here for a while.

Who do you regard as your mentor, or the most influential Chef that you worked for?

My mentor in regards to cookery is definitely Pierre Koffmann, Pierre has managed to maintain a level of cookery that is both unbelievable in quality and impressively consistent. He has mellowed over the years as a chef (he used to be a really intimidating guy) but he has a passion for what he does that hasn’t changed in the 16 or so years that I have known him. The other person that I must call a mentor from a management style is Herbert Klinkhammer, he was my Executive Chef while I was working in Korea. Herbert has taught me to become patient, listen, analyze carefully before making decisions and understanding the long-term impact of a decision you make keeping in mind the cultural context. His first words to me when I arrived in Seoul were “you gotta have a big big heart”. A line that to me is very descriptive of the style of management I believe one must have in Asia.

A piece of advice to a chef wishing to work in Singapore or any other Asian country......

If you want to work in Asia be prepared to open your eyes, ears and taste buds, there is so much you can learn it's unbelievable. Be prepared to adapt (no two countries in Asia are alike), to change your style of management, to even change your outlook on life and be willing to understand and integrate as much as possible to the different culture. You will be a richer person after a while, but it will take you a few years to really understand what is going on around you......

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