We’re ready to do it all over again as Kilo Cooking Beats—Raices returns for its sixth edition on Thursday, 27th July with the executive chef of Maggie Joan’s, Oliver Hyde. Originally from Norwich, in the United Kingdom, Oliver will be delivering a 7-course Norfolk feast influenced by dishes and experiences that he had as a child. Drawing huge inspiration from his father—a chef at a local restaurant of his hometown—Oliver knew from a young age that his passion laid in the kitchen and decided that he would make a career out of cooking when he was 15. He trained his culinary skills at several prestigious restaurants around Europe before he moved to Singapore to work at Pollen, a modern French dining restaurant. Soon after, he was given the opportunity to run his first kitchen as the head chef at Maggie Joan’s, where he is now based. We find out more about Oliver ahead of his evening at Kilo Kallang.
Tell us more about the experiences that you’ve had in and around the kitchen at the young age of 15. What was the moment that set your path towards becoming a chef?
Since I was little, my family and I would often go out and forage for mushrooms in the forests, look for sea vegetables by the coastline, and purchase eggs and other vegetables from the farm down the road. I’ve always been surrounded by the “farm to fork” mentality and consumed only what was locally available.
The idea of becoming a chef grew on me when I took on a job as a washer at a local restaurant at the age of 13. After some time, I was asked to help out with the prepping of the dishes and soon enough, I was working three days a week to assist with all the preparation work. Whether it was pastry, vegetables, or meat, there was always something new for me to see and learn. I found myself enjoying the work that I was doing and decided to join the kitchen team full-time after I graduated and thus began my training to become a chef.