Singapore was a quick blast of a visit; seeing old friends, tasting familiar dishes from previous trips and of course exploring new markets, sights and sounds. Anna was on two days of shooting so I spent time working with a former student and good friend Aaron Foster, Executive Chef of the Westin Singapore.
The architecture of the city makes it rise out of the bay of the South China Sea like a futuristic vision, a playground for engineers. There are plenty of signs of deep money from the banking and insurance world everywhere, and tourism venues fill the spaces of free time with excess and grandeur. The basic values of the city island are still evident – prudence, organization and conservatism, don’t break the rules and you will do just fine. Eat fruit on the subway? Don’t you dare.
Food is all consuming, shown by the daily greeting of “have you eaten” in one of a handful of languages. Of course Canadians love to spend time talking about the weather but here, those efforts are spent discussing noodles, soups, chill crabs, cereal prawns and where to find the best hawker stalls. Clearly, cooking at home seems to be fading as there are endless choices for quick dining everywhere, from office building kiosks to hawker centres to fine dining venues.