Colombia-born Fernando Arevalo only went to culinary school at age 22 but devoted all his time to learning all he could about the culinary arts.
Fernando Arevalo, 32
In this series, we meet chefs under 35 whose restaurants were awarded stars in Singapore’s Top Restaurants 2017/2018.
Colombia-born Fernando Arevalo originally studied engineering, but a passion for food led him to switch disciplines and go to culinary school in New York. Since entering the industry, he has worked with chefs like Daniel Boulud at DBGB Kitchen in New York and Mario Batali at Carnevino, Hong Kong. In Singapore, he was executive chef at Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse before becoming executive chef at Mediterranean restaurant Artemis in 2015 when the restaurant opened.
Says Arevalo about his early days as a young culinarian, “Since I started late and only went to culinary school when I was 22, I became obsessed with learning everything about cooking; I devoted every ounce of my time to my trade. Everything I could do to learn more, I would do it. I would work on my days-off for free, and up to 96 hours a week. I moved to other countries, changed my lifestyle and left my family and friends.”
The sustainability-conscious and artisanal produce focus of Artemis stems from its location on the 40th floor of CapitaGreen Building in the CBD. Known to be environmentally friendly, the building imbibes vertical greenery and water efficiency practices. Arevalo says, “I decided it would be right to source only sustainable seafood, and what I call ‘happy cows’ and ‘happy pigs’. That decision has taken me on an amazing journey as a chef, as it allowed me to familiarise myself with a host of amazing products and producers.”
One of the artisanal products he loves most is Pamplie butter, a premium Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product from Poitou-Charentes, France, which is barrel-churned, giving it an extremely smooth texture. He uses it to make homemade raviole, or wheat pasta typically filled with cheese and herbs. This new dish on the degustation menu sets out to deliver a hot and cold sensation like you get from a chocolate lava cake, only in a savoury dish.
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s September 2017 issue – Singapore’s Top Restaurants, ‘Early Risers’