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Meet Singapore’s One-Woman Chocolate Factory

Pastry chef Janice Wong raises the bar again for edible art with her flagship restaurant in Singapore.

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You have garnered Pastry Chef accolades from World Gourmet Summit and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. What’s your secret recipe to success?
My creativity is an organic process. I push myself into where there is no competition because I don’t want to stay within the box. I believe that the future will be cross-disciplinary. With chocolate bonbons becoming commonplace, I decided to marry chocolate with different genres, such as art, fashion and architecture. Doing so inspires me to take my craft beyond without blurring the boundaries.

Why chocolate?
I love chocolate. I eat it every day, in particular dark chocolate. I would eat it all day, until it was time for bed. Growing up in Japan, where I was exposed to high-quality chocolates from the age of three, helped set the bar for me.

In your hands, chocolate is not just a treat but also a masterpiece.
There are no rules in my world. The tag line at 2am:lab is “think again”. By thinking again, I consider how I can do things differently; that’s how I come up with new ideas.
For me, the most important about creation is emotional value. One example: Chocolate painting. Edible art is a new area… I have conducted two successful chocolate painting workshops at the National Museum of Singapore. The DesignSingapore Council has also approached me to set up a curriculum that aims to unite art and cuisine to help groom others who want to pursue this medium. This got me thinking about how edible art has reshaped the art scene, as well as the future generation. But I’ve yet to accept the offer.

Nine years since opening 2am:dessert bar, your creations have been sought after by art galleries, luxury brands and multinational companies. How have you pushed the boundaries as a pastry chef?
In March, I opened a restaurant in Hong Kong. It serves both desserts and savoury dishes. I would describe the menu as “modern progressive”, with every item drawn on personal experiences. For example, the wagyu beef and cure potato comes with my favourite poem scribbled in cocoa butter.
On August 17, I will also launch Janice Wong Singapore at the National Museum. Like the Hong Kong restaurant, this flagship also offers savouries such as dim sum and noodles, along with desserts.

What else can we expect at Janice Wong Singapore?
Chocolate toys! I want to create thinking games out of chocolate. For example, our tic-tac-toe comes with a box of nine chocolates and an edible flip coin, so players have to guess correctly the flavour of each chocolate. These will be available at the restaurant too.

More information here.

 

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