For Chef Remy Carmignani there is no other rabbit hole than to be in his own restaurant. Transporting guests to the Mediterranean Riviera with his fun, flair and charming persona, Chef Remy believes that food has always been much more than just sustenance. It is all about sharing one’s identity, culture, creating lasting memories and sharing love and passion with the world.
His own love for food started with his upbringing in Montelimar, France. Growing up, he was always surrounded by beautiful lavender fields, the Ardèche and Drôme rivers and endless fresh produce which his grandmother used in her cooking every day.
One of his earliest and most lasting food memories is of the aroma of his grandmother’s signature dish – a slow-cooked Langoustine à l’Américaine, a rich stew of langoustine, scampi and scallops – wafting through his grandmother’s house during large family gatherings. Having Italian grandfathers in the family also exposed him to food and flavours from across the Mediterranean – so he grew up enjoying not only Southern French cuisine, but the flavours of regional Italy as well. This truly sparked his passion for creating dishes from across different cultures.
Remy is now the Executive Head Chef at Riviera Forlino, an innovative and modern Mediterranean fine-dining restaurant uniquely situated above the iconic Merlion Park with stunning views of Singapore’s Marina Bay. The luxurious restaurant in the city centre offers authentic European culinary experiences crafted by Chef Remy and its team.
With ‘modern Mediterranean’ influences from across France, Italy and even Northern Africa, Chef Remy has his own story to tell, a culinary experience that can inspire millions of young chefs out there
With ‘modern Mediterranean’ influences from across France, Italy and even Northern Africa, Chef Remy has his own story to tell, a culinary experience that can inspire millions of young chefs out there.
While working in Marrakech five years ago, he discovered a dish that he immensely fell in love with – the traditional dish of “Marrakchia Tangia” (slow-cooked stew cooked in a clay pot).
To seek out this amazing dish, he went deep into the old city of Medina, and looked out for an old butchery. The butcher took care of everything and prepared the dish right in front of him.
Using a simple clay pot, he filled it with meat, spices, saffron and preserved lemon. He then took this clay pot, full of delicious ingredients, and brought it to a traditional hammam (a traditional thermal spa or bath), where the team at the hammam took his pot and cooked it directly in the hot ashes of the flames that produced the steam for the hammam. Six hours later, he had a stunning dish in front of him! Bon appetit!
Inspired by this experience, Chef Remy infuses his signature hand-made Tortellini dish with the traditional Moroccan tangia-style lamb shoulder, along with saffron, goat cheese cream and mustard seeds, serving it in a light broth prepared in a classic French style. He believes that the dish is truly an ode to one of his favourite dishes in the world.
According to Remy there is no better approach to culinary than to travel. It’s pretty simple – go and eat the locals’ cuisine. Remy has always challenged himself to seek out chefs that are cooking authentic, ancestral cuisine, because he firmly believes that food is a transmission of culture.
A secret that Remy stands by is “making food that is simple and beautiful looking with whatever ingredients are available in any part of the world”. Apart from carefully choosing his ingredients, he works very closely with the local suppliers, buying their produce and bringing authentic dishes on the table.
From the sexy and seductive environment of the dining hall to every bite of his meticulously-crafted dishes, Chef Remy wants every experience at Riviera Forlino to reflect on his personality and deliver a unique and memorable coastal experience for his guests.
His cuisine has and will always be ‘modern Mediterranean’ with influences from across the coasts, but to celebrate the diverse culture of Singapore, he offers Mediterranean-influenced style dishes during special occasions throughout the year.
With Singapore’s National Day fast approaching, Remy plans to surprise his guests and offer something authentic – a blend of Singapore and the Mediterranean. ◼
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© This article was first published online in July 2020 – World Travel Magazine.