December 30, 2016
In Christopher Nolan’s speech at Princeton’s graduation in 2015, he made a statement that caught the attention of the world – “I want you to chase your reality”.
Speaking with Chef Eran Mayer, I saw a person who embodies that statement and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Mayer is unpretentious and full of passion. You notice it in his stride and in the way he conducts himself. He is highly passionate about what he is doing with Artisan Boulangerie Company , and has a lot of love and respect for the art of food making.
Now approaching it’s third year since opening, ABC has set a standard in Singapore as being a restaurant that delivers fresh, quality food consistently. With a strong focus on sourcing the best ingredients for its customers, ABC has grown tremendously in size and reputation.
We took some time with the chef behind it all, and picked at his brain a little to show you more about what makes this local restaurant chain and its food so good. Not to mention the pillowy, soft butter.
1. What inspired you to kick off your business in Singapore?
Having sold my bakery in France in 2012, I was looking for other investment opportunities. Visiting Singapore for the first time in January of 2013, I discovered a certain charm about the country and its people. The challenge to expand the bakery culture here and make the concept of Artisan Boulangerie Co. work in Singapore with difference in palate and culture inspired me.
2. Since opening in 2013, how would you describe the difference of Artisanal baking then and now?
I think Singapore has always had its own artisanal food. To me ‘artisan’ means to make things from scratch. When ABC was first started in August 2013, there were not as many bakery cafes/restaurants here. Now, as ingredients and knowledge have become very accessible, more such establishments can be found. I like the idea. I would like to see Singapore have bakeries at every corner. This means growth in the culture of baked goods consumption.
4. Since we’re talking of butter, what butter do you use?
We import our butter from Poitou-Charentes, France. Situated in the south western part of the country, this region is famous for it’s dairy products, seafood and fruits. The butter we use from a brand called Lescure.
5. How have your multiple cultural experiences influence the your approach to cooking?
(Eg. Being Israeli born, French trained and having worked in different environments.)
Hailing from Germany, my family always had a European influence in the kitchen. Moving to France in my 20s exposed me significantly more to different culinary cultures. But before that, working in other parts of the world gave me great exposures as well. However, I do my best to focus on a particular domain; baking and pastry making.
6. Having won prizes for the Best Baguette Competition twice, please describe what the preparation process is like.
The funny thing is, the first time I participated in this competition, things were so busy in the bakery that I had forgotten about having submitted my baguette for it. Until I got a call from the Chamber of Commerce saying I had received a prize. I did not join to win, I did it as a part of the passion of baking. So, you keep the baguette within the weight range of 300g to 350g and measuring between 55cm to 65cm. You send two baguettes in. And if it’s good, it’s good.
7. Any new item coming to the menu soon?
We’re currently busy with Christmas and New Year’s Eve catering. But from the 26th December, you will be able to order our Galette Des Rois. A traditional cake from France, also known as King cake to honour the three wise men who travelled a long distance to welcome the Savour’s birth. It is usually served on the 6th of January, the day of Epiphany. Within it, a crown figurine is baked together. The person who gets the slice with it, is king for the day. We have it in 20cm and 24cm, and special orders can be arranged.
8. Coffee or tea? And how do you drink it? (With milk, sugar, honey, cream?)
I like both. A cup of Coffee in the morning and tea in the evening. I take them with one cube of sugar each.
9. What baked item from your collection of breads and pastries would you pair with your beverage?
I eat any bread. I eat whatever bread is in the kitchen for the day.
10. Your cafes carry Gryphon’s Artisan teas and we are very proud of that. What tea/s are your favourite from our selection? Why?
I particularly love Chamomile Dream and Lemon Ginger Mint. They are good quality ingredients, you know it when you taste it.
12. Please complete the sentence, ” I feel most inspired when…”
May I change the sentence?
Everyday, I feel inspired. I don’t need something special to inspire me, I find inspiration in everything. Nothing is new under the sun, so it’s only how you do it that makes any difference. And there’s still much more to be done.
Find the amazing teas that Chef Eran Mayer loves so much here! And visit Artisan Boulangerie Co’s website for more information on their festive offerings, or feel free to contact their friendly staff at any of the 8 outlets.
Artisan Boulangerie Co.
118 Killiney Rd
Tel: +65 6444 8130
Hours: 8am to 10pm Daily