Chef at Bar-Roque Grill
My name is Stephane Istel, I am the chef and owner of Bar-Roque Grill. It’s French in Singapore, just like me.
I was born in May 3, 1978 in picturesque Alsace, France. It’s a beautiful place with delicious cuisine.
I grew up with the beautiful aroma from my mother’s kitchen. My mother expresses her love for the family through her amazing cooking of classical Alsatian dishes such as baeckeoffe. I remember the anticipation and joy as a child when she brought her claypot of potatoes, carrots, lamb, pork and beef, marinated in white wine onto the dinner table. The flavor, the aroma, an amazing taste, and her kind smile… It was from my mother I learnt to «cook with love».
I have been working as a Chef for a 20 years now, since I was 15 years old enthusiastic young cook (maybe not so professional yet, but really passionate one).
I made my first yogurt cake with vanilla and chocolate when I was about seven years old. Even though I loved playing soccer and dreamt about being a football player, my passion and love for my craft has evolved over the years and now I cannot stop cooking. I can’t imagine myself without cooking at least something during a day (not talking about a week of more). Even when I am on vacation, I want to cook everyday.
My mother is an amazing cook, and we grew up eating amazing French classical dishes from Alsace. Among her specialties are tarte flambé, choucroute garnie, coq au riesling and baeckeoffe.
It was growing up eating the food that she prepared with love that first inspired me to be interested in cooking. In fact, some of the most popular recipes at my restaurant, Bar-Roque Grill, like the tarte flambé and apple pie, are hers.
There were also several great individuals I met in my life that had truly moulded me as a chef. In particular, my mentors are Chefs Michel Royer and Daniel Boulud.
It was in my 20s working for 5 years with my first mentor Michel Royer in his restaurants from St Tropez on the Riviera to St Martin in the Caribbean that sharpened my gustatory instincts and awakened my hunger for life and success as a Chef. Michel Royer taught me to set career and life goals, work hard towards them, and believe ardently in them and never give up.
I left for the US to join Daniel Boulud as Sous-chef at the DB Bistro Moderne in New York in 2004, and later as Chef for Boulud’s Feast & Fêtes Catering, working in each position for 18 months. During these three years in New York, I absorbed the principles of Daniel Boulud’s famous ingredient — and seasonality-driven cuisine, along with the expertise to create it. It was here that I also learned to use and adapt new ingredients, something that was very useful when I came to Asia. I subsequently moved with the DB group to Canada and afterwards in 2010 to Singapore.
I left DB Bistro Moderne at the start of 2013, and opened Bar-Roque Grill with my partner in July 2013. It was one of the biggest decisions of my whole life, and I’m proud of it, and love as a child.
My favourite dishes are the ones cooked with love by my mother, of which I had also learnt from her. My mum’s apple tart, tarte flambee, choucroute (sauerkraut with sausages and charcuterie meats) and good schnapps from Alsace are my favourite foods. Simple, yet incredibly delicious.
Besides cooking for my friends and loved ones, I love going on rides on my motorbike. I have also recently purchased my new Ducati street fighter, and in my spare time, I enjoy taking bike rides with my friends. It is both a sport and leisure for me. I enjoy high-speed living, catching the wind, overtaking the shadows.
What can I wish for the readers? Well, off course I would love to welcome everyone to Bar-Roque Grill, and I look forward to cooking for you. Also I wish you find the case of your life, cause there is nothing more important then doing what you’re really like to do with carrying people behind.
The dish from the picture is Charcuterie platter.
I love to prepare and eat charcuterie. I was excited to purchase my smoking machine for the restaurant. I produce 7-8 types of charcuterie for the restaurant daily, and they are all house-made and house-smoked. I have sharpened my skills and craft of butchering and producing charcuterie in the last 20 years.
The charcuterie platter comprises of a variety of charcuterie such as country duck pate, foie gras terrine, duck prosciutto, kurobuta white ham, pork and duck rillettes, pork knuckle terrine, and served with house-pickled vegetables.
The recipe I am sharing is the country duck pate which is made with duck meat, pork belly, foie gras, chicken liver, pistachios and seasoned with mixed herbs and finished with armagnac and port.
It’s really delicious, try it!
165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-00 Amara Hotel, Singapore
Tel: (65) 6444 9672
Bar-Roque Grill is a modern rotisserie and bar that is all about fun and togetherness. The French-inspired menu by Chef Stephane Istel is traditional yet innovative, featuring Chef’s rotisserie free-range chicken, crisp tart flambé, seafood platter, house-made and house-smoked charcuterie and “Mom’s” apple pie. Look forward to Bar-Roque’s one-price Butchers’ Sunday special that resembles the “Sunday roast”, as well as Chef Stephane’s surprise daily specials. The restaurant’s international cellar focuses on Alsace and New Zealand, and late-night revelers can enjoy artisanal cocktails and spirits with a delectable bar food menu.