It’s a rare opportunity to learn from master chef Masayasu Yonemura, regarded as a pioneer in French-Japanese nouvelle cuisine. He’s also the man behind Michelin-starred Restaurant Yonemura in Kyoto (where he’s permanently based) and Tokyo, as well TEPPAN by Chef Yonemura at Resorts World Sentosa, his first overseas outlet with a unique teppanyaki concept.
Naturally, our society gourmands jumped at the opportunity to have a hands-on experience under chef Yonemura's watchful eye through three hands-on masterclasses, held over two days (March 6 and 7), where he demonstrated three of his signature dishes. Guests had a go at making these dishes, and got to taste the fruits of their labour, which was served as part of a three-course meal at the end of their session .
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The first session welcomed mother-daughter pairs Frances Low and Olivia Low, Emily Piak and Crystal Piak, as well as friends Evelyn Sam and Jane Heng, and Tan Khar Nai and Katherine Pacika. They learnt more about chef Yonemura's simple but delicious amuse bouche and the inspiration behind the dish.
“This dish was inspired by sashimi, but uses cooked ingredients,” explained chef Yonemura, with the help of restaurant manager Takayoshi Aoki, The dish also showed off his distinct cooking style, with the juxtaposition of mussels (often used in French cuisine) on buttery brioche with hirami (flounder), wrapped with parma ham and showered with a special concoction of white wine and olive oil sauce.
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As this was a hands-on masterclass, guests also had a go at plating the dish, which Evelyn Sam shared was “easy but fun to do”.
The next session was attended by mother-daughter duos Angela Ng and Adeline Teo, Angela Ng and Vanessa Ng, Lilian Low and Selina Low, and Nina Ng and Claudine Ng. And their skills behind the grill were put to the test when chef Yonemura asked them to cook their own steak.
Chef recommended searing both sides for one minute, then letting it rest for two to three minutes to ensure a tender and juicy steak. And for some welcome theatrics, they got to flambe it with a little Grand Marnier.
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Nancy Ong and Sonia Ong, Dolly Cheong and Cheryl Cheong, Siow Yin Yin and Wendi Chan, Jilly Wang and Pauline Chan were the lucky guests at the final masterclass, which was dedicated to creating the classic crepe Suzette prepared Yonemura-style—cooked on a pan using a teppan grill.
The guests were more than eager to make their own dessert. They first melted granulated sugar in a pan with butter and reduced pineapple juice, before adding their crepes in. The last step was a feast for the eyes as they flambed it with Grand Marnier and finished off their dish with a scoop of house-made vanilla ice cream.
It was an experience everyone enjoyed and learned much from. Nina Ng said that she will “definitely come back”—not to cook but to sample more of Chef Yonemura’s offerings—while Angela Ng had fun grilling and eating the beef.
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Chef Yonemura was equally impressed by his students. “The guests did very well and exceeded my expectations,” he shared, adding that it was the first time in his 55-year career that he has done something like this.
Watch chef Yonemura walk guests through the making of some of his signature dishes.
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