My Selection: Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Colin Buchan: My name is Colin Buchan. I am originally from Scotland but have lived in London for 10 years from 2002 to 2012. I am married to my wife, Sophie, and have a daughter, Isabella. My career has seen me accumulate culinary experiences at several Michelin-starred establishments including Marco Pierre White’s L’Escargot, Andrew Fairlie’s One Devonshire Gardens, and The Square restaurant in London. I have spent time working in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, starting with Amaryllis in his hometown of Glasgow. I also worked as a private chef to David and Victoria Beckham. A highlight of my career was cooking on the 2012 season of the BBC series The Great British Menu, alongside some of the best chefs in the UK.
MS: What does your job entail exactly?
CB: My position at 1880 is executive chef, which makes me responsible for all its food concepts and offerings. I will oversee the menus of the six spaces where food is served, encompassing a “casually elegant” dining room, a coffee shop, a bar/lounge area, an outdoor terrace, and private dining. As 1880 is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2017, I am currently in Europe doing research and development. My priority is to present a unique and inspiring food programme that can be enjoyed at any time of the day by our members.
MS: How long have you been living in Singapore and what brought you there?
CB: I have lived in Singapore since June 2012, when I joined Jason Atherton’s restaurant, Pollen, in Gardens by the Bay, as its executive chef. Pollen is the sister restaurant to Jason’s renowned Pollen Street Social in London. He and I go way back – I’ve known him since I was working in Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants in London back in 2002. This was why when he asked me, I was delighted to accept the opportunity to work in Asia and start Pollen with him.
MS: With work done, how do you like spending your free time in the Lion City?
CB: After a busy week in the kitchen, I love to cycle and you can often find me along East Coast Park on the weekend. I also like to spend time with my wife and daughter in the quieter parts of Sentosa, such at Tanjong Beach.
MS: Singapore is famously a melting pot of cultures and, as a result, also of multiple cuisines. What are your favorites?
CB: I love the food culture in Singapore because it has so much to offer. In particular, I really enjoy the hawker centres, especially the one in my neighbourhood along Old Airport Road. I like to try something different every time I go there. Among the dishes I order include laksa, roti prata, rojak, and beef rendang.
MS: Where do you like to have dinner in Singapore? Could you name your Top 3 picks among restaurants, bars & cafes in Singapore?
CB: My top three picks in Singapore are Odette for special occasions, Burnt Ends for tasty and original food, and Sin Hoi Sai Eating House on East Coast Road for local food (the black pepper beef and Indonesian chicken are must-haves; the egg fried rice is the best I have tried).
Styled and shot by Odette
MS: Selecting wine depends very much on the occasion. When do you like to drink wine? On its own / with a meal / alone / with company?
CB: ￼The times I enjoy wine is when I am having a home-cooked meal and eating tapas while ￼socialising with friends.
MS: Are there any wines that you particularly like and would recommend to our readers? Or maybe you have your favorite pairings with the food you mentioned before?
CB: I’m currently a fan of the Argentinian Malbec, as it pairs well with earthy-flavoured ingredients such as venison and beef.