PUSHING BOUNDARIES
Epicure Magazine|February - March 2021
Chef Jason Tan further elevates the role of botanicals with his recently unveiled Gastro-Botanica 2.0 at his newly opened Restaurant Euphoria. Once again, the culinary maestro seamlessly melds classic, traditional flavours with cutting-edge innovation for botanicals re-imagined.
Priyanka Elhence

Jason Tan took the culinary world by storm in 2014 with his gastro-botanica cuisine, an innovative avant-garde philosophy that celebrated botanicals in their own right, shining the spotlight on the infinite possibilities of humble vegetables and elevating them to an equal status as that of proteins - a definite first for diners and chefs alike.

Trained in classical French cooking and having worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants throughout his career, Jason is the first and only Singaporean chef to be awarded the Michelin star four years in a row, as well as being ranked for five consecutive years(2016-2020) on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants during his tenure as chef and co-owner of the Corner House at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.It was in the lush environs of the UNESCO heritage gardens that Taninvented his famed gastro-botanica cuisine.

And now with the recent opening of Restaurant Euphoria in November 2020, Tan unveils Gastro-Botanica 2.0, which not only builds on the original classic role and significance of botanicals, but takes them further. He marks his evolution from chef-owner to restaurateur and entrepreneur as he sets the stage for an elevated version of his original culinary vision, complete from concept and design to cuisine and tableware by drawing on his local roots, Asian insights and extensive international travel experiences. Even the restaurant’s lush indoor garden interiors subtly pay homage to the onion and its pliant luminous layers, which have become a metaphor for his own personal quest to always ‘peel away’ to new discoveries and breakthroughs.

Coming full circle, the edible Dancing Orchid, one of the first Oncidium hybrids developed by the Singapore Botanic Gardens in1939, is now a varietal exclusively grown for Jason to showcase his gastro-botanica cuisine. His amuse-bouche of a wave-shaped Feuille de brick studded with vegetable purée and Baerii caviar, garnished with the orchid makes it the star.

With this 2.0 version, Tan reinvents pure vegetable extraction and reduction meatless sauces, shattering the boundaries of hauteFrench cuisine by moving away from its pillars of heavy mother sauces and jus. Collectively named Gastro-Botanica Essences-LaSymphonie de Légumes, his four pure botanical essences comprise Légumes Demi-Glace (brown), Légumes Vin Blanc (white), Légumes Emulsion (emulsion), and Légumes Essence (pure and clear).

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