5 Minutes With... Arron Goh of The Inside Access

Tastemakers

November 16, 2018 | BY Hashirin Nurin Hashimi

The hospitality veteran helps you curate the best gastronomic experiences for your guests so you can focus on being the perfect host

Scoring a reservation at the hottest new restaurant in town; savouring a four-hands dinner with guest chefs from the world over; or even dining in the dark—you’ve been there, done that. So when it comes to organising your very own party, you want to offer your guests, whether it’s two or 500 people, a truly unforgettable gastronomic experience. Look no further than homegrown experience creator, The Inside Access.

Founder Arron Goh says, “I see myself as a curator rather than an event planner as the experiences we create at The Inside Access are more than just run-of-the-mill events.” The hospitality veteran, with over 17 years of experience in Singapore and overseas, has worked across various F&B functions. So it’s no wonder that The Inside Access is centred around the perfect execution of the basics of hospitality, delivering distinctly unique bespoke experiences, from yacht parties and chef’s tables, to food tours.

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What sets it apart from the competition is its extensive networks and close relationships with restaurants across the region, which enable it to offer its clients insider access. For example, in the days leading up to Restaurant André’s closure earlier this year, when everyone was scrambling for a last-minute reservation, The Inside Access hosted a 26-course dinner prepared by chef André Chiang himself—an epicurean memory that will be forever etched in the minds of the 12 lucky guests.

Goh tells us more about The Inside Access’ ability to open doors to one of a kind gastronomic journeys.

What makes a memorable gastronomic experience?
Arron Goh (AG) Getting the basics right—the food, beverage, service and space—is only scratching the surface. You also need to engage the five senses. For example, the temperature and smell of the room, the music played, and the lighting all have an impact on the mood and atmosphere.

What are some recent culinary trends?
AG
Restaurants are bringing in celebrity chefs; renowned overseas chefs are collaborating with Singapore-based restaurants to create one-off bespoke menus; and also pairings between chefs and mixologists. I would like to think that The Inside Access is ahead of the trend. Since the first charter of our Chef on Board series, chefs from award-winning restaurants have come on board to prepare bespoke canapes paired with cocktails created by our in-house bartenders.

How do you provide “the inside access”?
AG
We can get our clients priority access to restaurants such as Raw in Taipei, Gaggan in Bangkok, and Odette in Singapore, which would otherwise have a two‑month waiting list. Our ability to bring chefs out of their restaurants and into any venue is another differentiating factor. We live by the mantra that “the heart moves the hand”.

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What was the most memorable request you have received?
AG
It was a series of birthday parties for one family, which started with a surprise celebration from the husband for his wife. We brought in the team from modern French restaurant Pollen into their home. As a result of the successful celebration, the wife requested for us to curate her 8-year-old’s birthday party, and later for her 4-year-old and husband’s birthday. Coming up with three different concepts was challenging, but we always put ourselves in our clients’ shoes as if we are celebrating our own milestones.

Do you agree that bonds are strengthened at the dinner table?
AG
I strongly agree. We have curated quite a number of Chef’s Tables and one thing remains constant—the 12 guests who may not have known each other at the start of dinner become friends by the end of it. Some of us catch up occasionally to share our love for food. 

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