VEGANISM MAY BE CATCHING ON, BUT NOT ALL CHEFS ARE FOR IT.
From animal rights to reversing climate change, there are many reasons why veganism is trending at the moment. But veteran chef Otto Weibel, who is Swiss and has been in the F&B industry since before he came to Singapore in 1973, believes meat still has its place.
The director of F&B consultancy Ott Scott, Weibel says there are benefits to eating meat, albeit in moderation. he explains: “the source of your meat should be natural and sustainably grown for it to be nutritious. Beef is rich in vitamins and has nutrients including iron and protein, which are beneficial to the body.”
The bigger issue to consider is the provenance of food, with an emphasis on sustainable, organic sources. The 73-year-old, who has helmed the kitchens of many top regional hotels, including Shangri-la hotel, Singapore and the Westin in Manila, today runs his own restaurant, Black Marble, which focuses on the source of its ingredients. he says: “We check our suppliers out. In australia, we visited some of the farms , so we know where the meat comes from.”
But this doesn’t mean Weibel, who grew up on a farm in Zurich, is against plant-based fare. “I think Singapore is growing more vegetables, so that may be a source for us in the future. Now, if you have a restaurant, you must have something vegetarian. I like my meat and dairy, but I could live for a week as a vegetarian.”
TEXT KAREN TEE PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG ART DIRECTION FAZLIE HASHIM CHAIR HOUE FROM P5 HENDERSON