The sixth edition of Backyard Production’s Taste and Dine event presents Grain, an online restaurant with the mission of improving lives through meaningful food experiences. The Taste and Dine series capture the local food aura of Singapore through the lens of prominent chefs and restaurants.
This October series in collaboration with online restaurant Grain addresses a recurring question of every household: What do we eat today? Started in 2014, Grain has been creating food experiences that opens mouths and minds with thoughtfully crafted meals using wholesome ingredients. Today we discuss how restaurants can play a critical role making local produce more appealing to consumers than the imported food.
Has Grain worked with local produce to create dishes before? What was the experience like?
Local produce and wholesome ingredients have always found an important place in our dishes. We have created dishes using local barramundi and vegetables in the past. However, while local produce undeniably elevates the flavours and textures in the food, it comes with a higher cost. This makes it challenging to incorporate locally-grown produce without surging the prices for our customers. The extortionate price point is detrimental to a good business case preventing the frequent use of local produce in our dishes.
Is there anything different about working with Backyard Productions?
Backyard Productions has provided an effective solution to the steep price issue by consolidating the best picks from our local farms at the best prices. Compared to working directly with the farms which limits variety, choice and competitive pricing, we now have a wider portfolio to compare, select and find products that fits our requirements. Today, we’re also less susceptible to product shortages since we have easy access to local produce from multiple farms thereby reducing our reliance on any one farm.
What was the motivation for collaborating with Backyard Productions for this edition of Taste & Dine?
Besides easy access to the wealth of local produce, there is a bigger motivation for collaborating with Backyard production. We believe in the power of community. We have reached here today with a lot of support from our community and we feel it is now our responsibility to reciprocate and give back to the society. Through Backyard Productions, we are able to support the local AgriTech farmers and showcase how local produce can be used to create delicious food.
Hopefully, these meals will spark an interest in consuming fresher and more sustainable home-grown produce amongst Singaporeans!
What do you think of consumers’ perception of local produce and how do you think F&Bs can help improve or change the perceptions?
Unlike Australia or parts of USA, Singapore is typically not popular for quality agriculture. This may make local Singaporean produce less appealing to consumers as compared to the wide diversity of imported products.
F&Bs can play a huge role in altering this perception by featuring local produce in more premium ways. Say for example pairing dishes with high-end ingredients like sashimi or wagyu or using advanced cooking methods and refined plating techniques.
What is your word of advice to other chefs and Restaurants in using local produce?
As mentioned above, we chefs and restaurants have a privileged position to act as influencers in persuading customers in the right direction of using more local produce as against imported products. The first step to delve into the health and sustainability aspect that fresh and nutritious produce offer. The next step is to tantalise the taste buds by using the fresh produce as key components to achieve flavours and textures that produce scrumptious dishes.
What do you think about BP’s drive to champion local farms?
Backyard Productions is on an incredible mission to take care of our planet while making local fresh produce more attractive and part of our daily platter. It resonates with our very own ideology of making healthy food taste better and simultaneously save our planet.
Through easy access to fresh, local produce, BP enables us to bring customers a farm-to-table experience serving both the customers and our planet.
Can you describe how local produce is good for our health as well as our economy?
It is simple science that with local produce the time between harvest and consumption is minimised, which reduces nutrient loss making it fresher and healthier.
From an economic point of view, with reduced dependency on imported foods, the impact of global supply chain disruptions as the current one reduces. This in turn prevents the surge in food prices that we would otherwise suffer from imported goods.
An overall win-win situation!
About Taste & Dine
Taste & Dine is a series of dining events brought to you by Backyard Productions in collaboration with the best restaurants in Singapore to highlight our homegrown produce.
By working together with chefs to create a menu that uses locally grown and farmed produce, Backyard Productions aims to bring our homegrown gems to the forefront of the industry, making it accessible for all.
Enjoy salad bowls conceptualised by Grain and filled with local produce from 20th October to 30th November 2022 as part of our sixth edition of Taste & Dine.
Wasabi Leaf Smoked Salmon Salad
Thai Seafood Sorrel Salad
Salads are available for purchase at:
90 Bras Basah Rd, #B1-33
Esplanade Xchange, Singapore 189562