Executive Head Chef Ivan Brehmfrom restaurantBacchanalia, Singapore, has an extensive culinary repertoire and gastronomic education.With Culinary Art degrees from Senac, in his native Brazil, and the Culinary Institute of America in the US, Ivan Brehm’s aspirations have taken him on revelatory gastronomic travels. Each stop on this journey has offered him opportunities to learn from some of the world’s best chefs, resulting in both the development of his own personality as a chef and a formation of a great culinary repertoire and expertise.

Brehm has worked in restaurants ranging from Thomas Keller’s Per Se toNew York City’s well-loved Applewood by Chef David Shea, often considered the antithesis of the Michelin star. His gastronomictravels have alsotakenhim to the Spanish Basque country, where he trained under Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz and discovered that food could be poetic and evocative at the hands of a true artist. Ivan then went on to workat Paco Roncero’s La Terraza del Casino in Madrid, before travelling to Italy where he found himself learning wine-making and authentic hand-made pasta in Piedmonte.

In 2006, Ivan moved to London and worked under Claude Bosi at Hibiscus in London before training with 2013 Observer Food Monthly’s ‘Chef of the Decade’, Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in 2008. For four years, Ivan thrived amidst the camaraderie of his peers and worked his way up to development chef of Heston’s Experimental Kitchen. At The Fat Duck, dishes were conceptualized with scientific precision, based on painstaking research and substantial empirical data. Here Ivan learned the importance of acidity and umami to boost flavour and intensity in food. He even collaborated with designers, food historians, scientists and musicians, teaching him that food could be enjoyed not just by tasting in isolation but as a holistic experience.

Inheriting his initial love of food from his two grandmothers who were exceptional cooks, Ivan spent the majority of his childhood in a kitchen. Now as Executive Head Chef of Bacchanalia, he enjoys the freedom and ownership over a menu that is an eclectic mix of plates, inspired by childhood memories, a multicultural upbringing and rich culinary experiences. He reinvents classic dishes, with flavours that are recognizable yet paired and prepared in ways that diners may not have experienced before.

Where many kitchens are often ruled by fear, Ivan chooses to lead his staff by mentoring and training them in an environment of mutual respect. His deep-rooted conviction in the importance of food in family life and its effect on the community has led him to view food and cooking as a means for human expression.

FOUR Questions with Ivan

Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words…

Bridging science and craft

What is your greatest inspiration?

Intuition, silence and the present moment

If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?

I would go to the Osteria deisognatori, in Alba

What four things would you take to a desert island?

Radio, sunscreen, an epicbarbecue and a speedboat.

Which four songs would/do you play in your kitchen to get the team motivated, and why?

James Taylor, love has brought me around. Joe Jackson, Stepping out. Stevie Wonder,HigherGround. Bonobo, Kiara… They are all great songs to cruise to. I dislikemusicthat gets chefs fired up… kitchens workbetter outside of competition, and people can only really work as a team when th are all centered.

  • Chef of the year |World Gourmet Series 2015
  • Restaurant of the Year |Bacchanalia |World Gourmet Series 2015


39 HongKong Street