Four-hands dinner by Nae:um and Metiz

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
Four-hands dinner by Nae:um and Metiz
Chefs Stephan Duhesme of Metiz and Louis Han of Nae:um

It was a gastronomic meal that explored the roots and culinary traditions of two of Asia’s talented and creative chefs. Chef Louis Han of Singapore’s Nae:um and Stephan Duhesme of Metiz  in Manila collaborated for an unforgettable nine-course dinner.

Nae:um opened in 2021 and was Han’s inaugural venture as an independent restaurateur. He serves diners contemporary Seoul cuisine that uses modern Western culinary techniques in his 28-seater venue.

Han’s culinary odyssey brought him far from his hometown of Gangnam to Lebanon, where he served as a military chef for the United Nations Peacekeeping force, as well as a stint in Abu Dhabi’s fine-dining circuit before finally settling in Singapore in 2016.

He was a sous chef at Korean restaurants Meta and as the head chef of Kimme, he earned a finalist spot in the San Pellegrino Young Chef Award Southeast Asian leg in 2016 and was among the finalists of the 2019 World Gourmet Summit Rising Chef of the Year.

Milssam, Wagyu Beef & Pine Nut Cream

Nae:um is named after the Korean word that means “a fragrance that evokes memories.” Nae:um is, in essence, an ode to all the defining chapters in Han’s life that he seeks to keep alive through food. With tasting menus based on seasons that run for about three months, dishes pull inspiration from memories of open-air family barbecues, to the ways his grandmother would make soup. He continuously reinvents his signature dishes such as Duck Galbi and Somyeon Noodles.

Last year, Nae:um received its first Michelin star, while Han earned the Michelin Guide’s Young Chef Award. Nae:um also landed in the 83rd spot on the 51-100 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2023.

Han says, “At Nae:um, I want to share a different side of Korean cooking with my customers. Much like how Singapore’s diverse culture draws from multiple influences, Nae:um blends various influences together using the best ingredients served in innovative yet nostalgic ways.”

The reverence for nostalgic flavors is shared by Duhesme, chef-owner of Metiz and one of the most talented young chefs in the Philippines. He opened Metiz in 2019 in a discreet corner of Makati City and, in less than three years, the 30-seater space has made a name thanks to Duhesme’s ingenious use of produce and vegetables across an eight-course tasting menu.

Shrimp tart

Metiz also debuted in the 48th spot among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2023. He says, “What truly excites me about Singapore’s culinary scene is how creatively food is reimagined while staying true to their essence. In essence, that is something we aim to do with each dish we serve at Metiz.”

This event was part of the Asian Culinary Exchange (ACE), which is designed to showcase Singapore through a series of cross-cultural collaborations between Singaporean and Filipino chefs. The ACE is part of “Serve It, Singapore,” a project by the Singapore Tourism Board that brings a series of dining experiences straight from the culinary capital of Singapore to the tables of Manila.

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Metiz is located at Karrivin Plaza, ground floor, Building A, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. Call (0917) 700-4109 for inquiries or reservations. Metiz is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Visit http://www.facebook.com/VisitSingaporePH. Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.

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