In the world of gastronomy, where every dish is a canvas for storytelling, Chef Kirk Westaway’s narrative unfolds as a masterpiece. Rooted in his earliest memories, Kirk’s culinary journey reflects a profound connection to nature, a reverence for quality ingredients, and a commitment to the art of cooking.
Early Culinary Memories
Born in Devon, Chef Kirk’s culinary roots run deep. His earliest memory of food was cultivating a lush garden with his family, an experience that would shape his culinary philosophy.
“My first memory of food is growing lots of fruits and vegetables in the garden at our family home in Devon,” he fondly recalls. It was a collaborative family effort, involving his parents, sister, and himself, nurturing the soil and reaping the harvest. These formative days left an indelible mark, influencing his dedication to creating dishes that champion the essence of fresh, high-quality ingredients and seasonal produce.
Home cooking was the cornerstone of Kirk’s upbringing in the Devonshire countryside. “Living in the countryside meant that we didn’t go to restaurants often,” he reminisces. Instead, the family savored the flavors of fresh, organic produce harvested from their land and local farm shops. These early culinary experiences not only ignited his passion but also sensitized him to dietary preferences and restrictions, notably those of vegetarian family members.
Culinary Philosophy and Style
A pivotal influence on Kirk’s culinary path was his mother.
“My Mum was a huge influence on my decision to pursue cooking as a career,” he acknowledges. He marveled at her ability to transform humble ingredients into delectable dishes, often watching her orchestrate culinary magic in the family kitchen. Her culinary prowess laid the foundation for his own culinary journey.
Growing up in Devon, Kirk developed an acute understanding of the intricate processes behind producing top-tier ingredients. Today, his dishes are a testament to his commitment to organic, biodiverse, and sustainable ingredients.
“If you cook with the best ingredients,” he passionately asserts, “you’ll produce the best dish with a great culinary experience.”
Kirk’s culinary style is a celebration of vegetables.
“I would say my dishes are very vegetable forward,” he explains. Clean, modern, light, and fresh, his creations utilize unique culinary techniques to extract maximum flavours from key ingredients. Instead of theatricality, he champions authenticity and the pure essence of organic produce.
JAAN by Kirk Westaway: Vision and Location
Chef Kirk Westaway’s career is studded with remarkable highlights. Winning a coveted Second Michelin Star stands as a lifelong dream fulfilled. He proudly declares, “Winning my second Michelin star has been my lifelong dream come true.” Recognition as one of Asia’s finest chefs by 50 Best further solidified his status among culinary luminaries. Renaming JAAN to JAAN by Kirk Westaway marked a deeply personal and significant milestone in his culinary journey.
At JAAN by Kirk Westaway, his vision is clear – to reinterpret modern British cooking with an innovative twist. “To me, JAAN by Kirk Westaway is all about reinterpreting modern British cooking through a more innovative lens,” he affirms. Situated on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford, the restaurant not only offers exceptional cuisine but also sweeping views of the city skyline. His signature dishes predominantly feature organic and seasonal vegetables, alongside seafood treasures like clams, langoustines, and scallops.
Local sourcing is a cornerstone of Kirk’s culinary philosophy. “Leafy greens, flowers, herbs, fruits from and around Singapore,” he emphasizes. The hotel’s Aquaponics farm further enriches his palette, providing freshly picked herbs to elevate his dishes.
Creativity and Seasonality at JAAN
Kirk’s personal favourites at JAAN reflect his dedication to seasonality and innovation. The Tomato Salad, featuring chargrilled micro tomatoes, basil sorbet, fresh almonds, and almond custard, is a refreshing ode to summer. The Roasted Scottish Langoustine, paired with violin courgettes, brown butter, lemon purée, and braised lettuce, embodies a harmonious blend of flavours. The Spring Lamb, sourced from the Rhug Estate, is a playful twist on traditional British flavours, featuring tender meat brushed with Dijon mustard, herbed crumbs, and English green peas, all adorned with fresh mint.
For Kirk, creativity thrives on the ever-changing seasons. “It’s all about seasonality for me,” he says. He begins each dish by exploring the available produce, allowing nature to guide his culinary journey. Looking ahead, his vision is one of constant growth and innovation, a collective aspiration for himself and his team.
Chef Kirk Westaway’s culinary expedition invites us to immerse ourselves in the wonders of the culinary world. With every dish, he redefines and reimagines the boundaries of flavour, creating an extraordinary symphony of tastes that is nothing short of exceptional.