The article was written by Mandy Ng of Asia 361.
Imagine in 2030, the world population is predicted to grow to 8.3 billion, leading to a 50% increase in food demand. With climate change, dietary shift and surge in food prices, food production is said to unable to meet this increased food demand. We can no longer rely on conventional food sources. And that inspired local chef Janice Wong (2am:dessert bar) to experiment and develop a series of dishes that mishmashed the conventional and the under-used ingredients, creating food that were familiar yet with a different taste.
As part of “The Future of Us” exhibition, Chef Wong gave us a sneak on some of these experiments she and her team are working on.
The use of unconventional ingredients
One such ingredient is active enzymes that are created by fermenting lactic acid. These enzymes are said to be nutritious and great for our digestive systems. Chef Wong gave us a taste – the smell was a cross between miso and soya sauce with a savoury note. Using these flavours, she had cleverly infused them into a cocktail, brownies and chocolate, giving them a subtle smoky, savoury note. Cocktail and brownies are not exactly the healthiest food – by injecting them with active enzymes, just made us feeling less guilty.
Food as toy
You know how parents always say “do not play with your food”. At 2am:dessert bar, you are highly encouraged to play with your food. And the food you played with is delicious too. While playing with a plastic ball may provide endless hours of fun, Chef Wong created her own version of “chocolate ball” which one can play with it, break it and then eat it. No mess to clean up and it’s environmentally friendly.
Zero food wastage
Food wastage is becoming a growing problem in Singapore. On average, each Singaporean wastes around 130kg of food per year. To curb this problem, it is not just about not having leftovers or finish up the food before it expired. It is also about fully utilising an ingredient. For example, making a pickle out of watermelon rind, fermenting mangosteen skin. These are some of the creative ways Chef Wong hoped to instill in everyone’s minds.