Executive Chef Kirk Westaway promises an unforgettable epicurean journey at Michelin-starred JAAN
When we think of British cuisine, we imagine comforting Sunday roasts and classic pub grub. JAAN’s executive chef, Kirk Westaway, takes everything we think we know about British food and throws it out of the window with his brand new summer menu, aptly named ‘Reinventing British’. Using modern and innovative culinary techniques, Westaway reinterprets British gastronomy by taking inspiration from his hometown of Devon. His menu highlights expertly sourced, premium, hand-picked ingredients that take us to the English countryside – an extraordinary experience in Singapore.
This year, the restaurant retains its coveted Michelin star, celebrating three consecutive years of recognition – a feat that not many restaurants can say they’ve accomplished. With this talented chef at its helm, diners can expect only the most exciting culinary adventures.
We caught up with Kirk to talk about the new menu, how his small seaside hometown has eternally inspired him, and the evolution of British cuisine – his way.
On his career:
Growing up in Devon, I was always experimenting in the kitchen at home with my whole family. I grew up vegetarian, which made me appreciate seasonality and fresh produce. This eventually inspired me to pursue a culinary career. Before JAAN, I had the privilege of working in some of the best kitchens in the world under culinary masterminds such as Chef Alex Atala of D.O.M., Chef Raymond Patterson of Patterson’s London, as well as Chef Antonin Bonnet who formerly helmed the two Michelin-starred Greenhouse in London.
On his new menu, ‘Reinventing British’:
My culinary heritage is something that is close to my heart and I’ve always wanted to be able to reintroduce British food to Singapore’s fine dining scene. The new philosophy of Reinventing British marks an arrival to where I want to be as a chef. Through this new menu, I’ve combined my culinary roots from my hometown in Devon with those that I acquired during my travels.
On how he is changing people’s perception of British food:
I take fundamental elements of British dishes and present them in a new, refreshing way to surprise diners. At JAAN, the multi-course menu is created with passion and precision and presented in an intriguing way. Each dish gives a nod towards classic British flavours but from a new, fresh perspective.
On his signature dish:
My English Garden is one of my new signature dishes, inspired by my childhood growing up in Devon, England, with its abundance of freshly picked fruits and vegetables. The combination of seasonal vegetables includes a multi-coloured array of baby carrots, romesco leaves, kohlrabi, tomatoes, baby gem lettuce, white cauliflower, broccoli and radishes, paired with black olive powder and a flavoursome anchovy dressing. I serve it with a very light Scottish seaweed and herb broth in a custom-made watering can so diners can water their own English Garden. This dish defines my style in that it delivers nature’s finest in an simple, delicate manner, letting the fresh produce speak for itself.
On his go-to ingredients:
I have been using more vegetables and seafood. Personally, I always crave light dishes that shine a light on fresh vegetables. I’m currently experimenting with a unique Scottish kombu, which I use in my blue chipper potato truffle soup as the dashi base. As the only chef in Singapore who sources from this particular kombu producer in Scotland, I’m very excited not only to support small businesses, but also introduce new things to diners in Singapore.
On taking inspiration from his hometown:
Devon is known for its dairy products and one of JAAN’s signature snacks uses Devon cheese, which I love for its distinct nutty, full, rounded flavour with just a hint of sharpness. I’ve also brought in creamy Devon butter which goes perfectly with our signature sourdough bread.
JAAN, Swissôtel The Stamford, Level 70 2 Stamford Road Singapore 178882
This article is in partnership with Swissôtel The Stamford