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Meet The Team: Desmond Goh, ONE°15 Executive Chef & Head of F&B

Meet The Team: Desmond Goh, ONE°15 Executive Chef & Head of F&B

Jun 8, 2021


Chef Desmond Goh is only about eight months old at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, but he is no stranger to Members. As Executive Chef and Head of F&B, they know he has a hand in every dish and tipple they relish in every restaurant, bar and event at the Club.

Since coming on board, Chef Desmond has introduced Monday specials, and exclusive wine-, sake- and truffle-paired dinner events as well as 7 Wonders of the World, which explores the cuisine of seven different countries over a period of seven months.

Trained at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, he describes his style as eclectic. “I wouldn’t want to tie down my style to any boundaries of cuisine,” he explains. “I have trained under numerous Michelin star chefs including Hiroki Yoshitake, Nathan Outlaw and Mads Refslund—so the influences have extended from JapaneseFrench, to British and Nordic cuisines. What I like to do is blend what I’ve learnt from them with various ingredients to create something that is uniquely mine,” he says.

Chef Desmond himself was listed in the Michelin guide in 2017 for modern European restaurant, The Disgruntled Brasserie.

the total turnaround

One would think that Chef Desmond grew up dreaming of becoming a chef. But, what he wanted was to be a law enforcement officer. “I was not very good in studies; not because I couldn’t, but because I wouldn’t,” he says, explaining why his career path was steered in a new direction.

However, Chef Desmond quickly turned his life around after his National Service—it not only instilled strict discipline in him, it changed his life. He decided to get into the culinary world, and started his journey at hospitality school, Shatec—which he paid for through a bank loan his father stood guarantor for, and by working in the kitchens of Chinese restaurants. His father wanted him to prove that he was ready to get serious in life, and Chef Desmond proved it in spades by also earning a scholarship awarded by Far East to study in Le Cordon Bleu.

His stint after Shatec was probably the most exposure he got of Chinese cooking styles, although growing up, he recalls helping his mother and late grandmother make Peranakan cookies, tarts and kuehs during the annual festival time. “My late grandmother was a very good cook. My mother, a better baker than a cook. I still call her for advice and ask her to dig up some of my late grandmother’s recipes,” he says. He leveraged this access and clubbed it with organic ingredients for the Club’s festive offerings for this Chinese New Year—“we sold almost 700 jars of pineapple tarts”.

“I  wouldn’t want to tie down my style to any boundaries of cuisine.”

a new role

There is no denying that Chef Desmond is accomplished in the kitchen—he has also curated F&B concepts at Habitat by Honestbee—but his role at the Club extends beyond. Besides, working at a marina requires a whole other set of skills, “because we are always talking about Members’ privilege and how we can provide them with the best experiences”, he says. Nonetheless, it’s a challenge he has been meeting head-on from day one.

Being involved with the business side of things has meant that Chef Desmond has less time to spend in the kitchen everyday. His sous chef and team handle it all under his expert guidance. What’s even more remarkable is that they are all on the same page with Chef Desmond’s style of cooking and the influences he is inspired by.

“The staff here are not trained in modernist cooking, but they are very hard working and skilled in traditional style of cooking. So I just have to demonstrate how they can adapt that to create dishes using different kind of ingredients and also integrate with new plating techniques,” he says.

In this manner, he has led the team to revamp the menu with unique offerings not only at
LATITUDE Bistro and WOK°15 Kitchen, but also at Boaters’ Bar, which reopened at the beginning of March. Besides the fact that everything on the Japanese-inspired menu is sourced from local suppliers, their pizza dough is made inhouse. “I would say we have the best pizza on Sentosa island. This is something I would like to proudly shout out,” smiles Chef Desmond.

His ambition is to own a pizzeria as well in the future. Right now, he is happy managing the F&B operations at the Club and with the every-day learning on the job, and the time he gets to spend with his wife and three children—who are what gets him up every morning, literally and figuratively.