Hello, my name is Evelyn Chen. Welcome to my website – Bibikgourmand.
Bibikgourmand started as an attempt to collate my published work digitally. I’ve been writing about food and travel long before I started blogging. The latter became necessary mainly as a discipline I enforced to document details about the restaurants I’ve visited in Singapore, a form of digital note-taking if you will.
I am Singapore-based and business administration-trained. In the past, I’ve worked as a jet-setting strategy consultant who dined excessively on corporate expenses before I retired from the corporate world.
I have no formal training in journalism although I’ve written many business reports. That foundation, plus sheet grit and a profound love for food, got me through my first few years of food writing. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to freelance for some of the best in the food publication business – food critic for Time Out Singapore, editor for Zagat Singapore and, most recently, contributing editor for both 12forward Singapore and Where Chefs Eat (2018) by Phaidon.
For more than a decade, I’ve also covered food beats for titles including New York Times, CNN Travel, Destin Asian, South China Morning Post, Eater, FineDiningLovers, Time magazine, Conde Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure SEA (see my favourite press clippings here).
Occasionally, I veer off food-writing when I am required to wear my other hat as the Singapore Destination Expert for Telegraph Travel, where I review Singapore hotels as well as write and annually update the Singapore City Break Guide to include the city’s hottest restaurants, bars, attractions and events.
In between assignments, I’ve been involved in multiple exciting projects. Several years ago, I organised the “20 Best Chefs”, a two-day event in Singapore that brought together 20 of the city’s most prominent chefs – including Malcolm Lee, Julien Royer, Han Li Guang, Andre Chiang and Sebastien Lepinoy – for a series of ticketed gourmet masterclasses.
In 2018, I was involved in an OCBC Gastronomic Adventures campaign to promote the use of bank’s credit cards with 12 restaurants in Singapore. As part of this assignment, I visited and reviewed 12 eateries that featured an exclusive menu specially curated for OCBC credit cards.
I was also recently appointed as a consultant and host on a campaign to promote premium Korean agricultural products amongst chefs in Singapore. The events culminated in a conference, one that was supposed to be “live” but has since gone online, that I hosted with more than 20 participants, many of whom are chefs presiding over some of the city’s best restaurants.
I’ve also been invited as a panel speaker to share my insights on consumer dining trends at regional conferences including an Asia Pacific Regional Food Leadership Conference by Hyatt, an event attended by more than a hundred Hyatt executives and chefs throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Since 2015, I’ve also served as the Regional Academy Chair (South East Asia, South) for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants academy.
I am also honoured to be on the panel of America Airline’s 2019 Platinum List Of Experts that helps to put together Celebrated Living’s list of the world’s best hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars.
Food writing will always be my mainstay for it has given me opportunities to discuss issues close to my heart. But these opportunities have also extended to other unexpected areas. I’ve been invited to appear in several local and regional food and lifestyle-related TV programmes and was also a judge for a reality TV show in Tokyo, Asian Ace (a Japanese TV variety show for Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation). I’ve also shared my views on Singapore’s dining scene in TV programmes including 3 Chefs 1 City and The Toque 12. Most recently, I also served as a consultant for Food Heroes, a Channel NewsAsia documentary profile series that featured eight of Singapore’s eminent culinary personalities.
In my spare time, I take chef friends and food-obsessed travellers on guided food tours to some of my favourite hawker haunts in Singapore. We have a staggering 14,000 hawker stalls in Singapore and navigating this complex maze to sniff out great street food is currently my all-consuming passion. Since 2019, I’ve been licensed by the Singapore Tourism Board as a Singapore Food Guide, a formality that – legally – allows me to take foodie tourists on hawker tours to explore Singapore’s vibrant food scene. My guided street food crawl is also offered at Capella Singapore as one of its Capella Curates experiences for hotel guests.
During the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards events held in Singapore in June 2019, I was tasked to help curate the hawker food selection for the official Chefs’ Feast event held at Tanjong Beach Club, Sentosa. During this event, many of my favourite hawker stalls including One Kueh At A Time, Mr & Mrs Mohgan Super Crispy Roti Prata, Tian Tian Chicken Rice and Da Dong Prawn Noodles served their offerings to some of the best chefs in the world including Massimo Bottura, Mauro Colagreco and Gaggan Anand.
Note that the restaurant – and hotel – reviews published in this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every property I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.
Unless photo credits are specifically indicated to another party, all images are copyrighted to Alex Ang and used here with permission.
© Evelyn Chen 2020