The rich heritage of each Peranakan dish is enhanced by the colourful history that fills your surroundings
A fourth-generation Peranakan Baba (the honorific for Peranakan men), Fred takes pride in conserving his family’s heritage and sharing it with others. After a long career in the insurance sector, Fred escaped the corporate jungle to pursue his passion for spreading an appreciation for the Peranakan culture, through food, traditional artifacts, clothing and other curios that he collects and curates.
Each recipe that Fred cooks, from Nyonya Curry Chicken to Babi Pongteh (braised pork with fermented soybeans) and Chap Chye (mixed vegetables), has been specially handed down through the ages within his family. Fred, himself, has been cooking these dishes for over 30 years, beginning his culinary journey as a teenager following his mother to the market to pick out ingredients for their dinner. Only the best and freshest ingredients will do.
Fred prepares each dish by its specific traditional method and cooks with the careful consideration held by the Nyonyas – each dish carefully tailored for the health and preferences of the eater.
Stepping through the doorway to Fred’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) apartment is almost akin to stepping into another world. He has carefully made over his two-storey maisonette into a Peranakan shophouse, with vibrant colours, tiles and fittings that harken to a rich yesteryear.
An avid collector of historical Peranakan artefacts, Fred has a museum-worthy collection extending from traditional tableware to wedding implements and furniture.
Interests: Heritage, Culture, Arts
Location: Eunos, Singapore
Time: Lunch and dinner
The Peranakans are the Sino-Malay descendants of early Chinese immigrants who settled down in the Malay Archipelago (particularly in Malacca, Penang and Singapore) between the 15th to 17th centuries.