Singapore - Eric Neo
Chargé de Missions
The first Asian Executive Chef in a top Singapore hotel
" It's a pleasure to be a Chaîne member as I'm introduced to new friends, gourmets and connoisseurs "

Eric Neo was the first Asian Executive Chef in a top Singapore hotel. As Executive Chef at the InterContinental Singapore - a position he has held since October 2011 - he oversees the hotel’s culinary operations and the menus of its restaurants and bars, namely Ash & Elm, Man Fu Yuan, Lobby Lounge, Victoria Bar and the banqueting department.

Eric is also a keen champion of the importance of continuing skills development for young chefs just starting out on their careers. He works with young chefs to nurture their talent, ensure they are able to cope with their first experiences of the professional kitchen and enable them to progress and realise their full potential.

“I involve them in the planning and encourage them to contribute ideas whilst allowing them to learn by trial and error and guiding them on other options,” he explained. “This allows me to assess their potential and their strengths.”

This approach goes beyond the development of cooking talent, pulling in other essential skills as well.

“Apart from the daily operations, I also involve them in understanding the importance of project timelines, understanding the manpower resource requirement and allocation and deploying the person with the relevant skills and strength to enhance the success of the project. This gives the young chefs an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in managing a project.”

Eric is also an advocate of the importance of teamwork in the kitchen, but when asked what for him comes first, culinary skills or leadership, he does not hesitate.

“Culinary skills take precedence over leadership. Not everyone is a leader but each chef should use his or her strengths which would augur well for his or her career path. It is good that they also acquire leadership skills as these are important as they advance to senior positions.”

The Revue internationale de la Chaîne also asked Eric for his thoughts on culinary techniques.

He told us, “Molecular cuisine is an interesting technique as it offers another dining experience; what the diner sees visually differs significantly from the taste, which is usually a pleasant surprise. Another interesting culinary technique is using Helium in making desserts. The element of surprise allows the diner a different and fun epicurean experience. However, I would not overdo it!”

Chef Eric has been a member of the Chaîne since 2008. He joined as a Chef Rôtisseur and was soon promoted to Maître Rôtisseur. This was followed in late 2014 by a further promotion to Officier Maître Rôtisseur. In March 2017 he joined the National Council as a Chargé de Missions.

He says, “It’s a pleasure to be a Chaîne member as I’m introduced to new friends, gourmets and connoisseurs who appreciate the profession. I also get to savour fine cuisines from my peers!”

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne