5 Questions with Award-Winning Chef, Collin Ho

With an aim to bring restaurant-quality food to the masses at affordable prices, Chef Collin Ho, founder and Executive Director of COLLIN’S®, pours his heart and soul into every aspect of the cooking process. From selecting only ingredients of the finest quality, to partnering with key culinary figures for constant innovation and bettering of dishes, Chef Collin hopes to share the joy of remarkable dining experiences with everyone. Having just won the Promising Brands as well as Most Popular Promising Brand at the 2017 Singapore Prestige Brand Award, the folks at Sadia were delighted to get the opportunity to talk with Chef Collin himself.

COLLIN'S

What is your personal motto when it comes to the way you cook?

Mise en Place – it’s a French term for ‘everything in its place’. It means having all ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before cooking. Pans are prepared. Mixing bowls, tools and equipment are set out. This technique never gets old. It allows me to plan accordingly and assemble meals efficiently and effortlessly.

For a first time customer who comes into COLLIN’S®, what are the 3 must orders that anyone would definitely enjoy?

We are known for our hearty portions, delicious food and pocket-friendly prices. The 3 must orders have proven to be top favourites for our customers, and the best part is, they are all below $20!  

1. Grilled Chicken Chop – A tender Chicken Chop served with Spaghetti Aglio Olio, Corn Cob, Mesclun Salad & either Black Pepper or Mushroom sauce.

The main star of the dish is the chicken, where we use Sadia for its quality, farm fresh chicken. This dish has been one of our bestsellers since its launch, making it a true classic in our menu.

2. BBQ Roasted Pork Ribs – A Saint Louis Style of ½ Slab Pork Ribs served with Coleslaw, Corn Cob, Sweet Potato Fries & Homemade BBQ Sauce

Our homemade BBQ sauce adds a winning touch to this popular dish. Tender and juicy, these ribs are packed with a big smoky punch.

3. COLLIN’S® Mixed Grille – A combination of Pork Bratwurst, Chicken Chop & Pork Chop served with Mushroom Ragout, Seasonal Vegetables, Potato Wedges, Corn Cob & Black Pepper Sauce

We promise a meat galore for the bona fide meat lover with this dish! Delight in our flavourful and generous combination of pork and chicken, served with fresh vegetables to help uplift your taste buds.

How do you ensure that quality is not compromised in any of your outlets, and that all the dishes served are up to your expectations? 

We have a Central Kitchen that plays a huge role in our mission to provide delectable, exquisite food at great value, and to ensure that consistency is always maintained at the highest level. We incorporate only premium ingredients into our dishes, where we buy them at source and in bulk so the cost savings can be passed on to you guys. At all our outlets, we have strict SOPs that start from the preparation process, all the way till the final dish is served on your table. We are also constantly on the lookout to better our talent through exchange programs for our chefs with other culinary professionals, so that ideas, skills and even motivations, can be shared. I myself recently worked with Chef Edmund Toh, President of the Singapore Chefs Association, and other leading chefs, so that we can deliver new, exciting dishes for new audiences. 
   
What are some simple tips you can give home cooks for their cooking routine?

One easy way to get started is to find trusted recipes that you know you can achieve, and use common ingredients. A little extra preparation such as making a shopping list will help you make the most of your grocery trip. Besides that, I think the key is to always enjoy the process and cook with passion. Make your time in the kitchen fun and experimental, it’s good practice as well!

If you could time travel into the past to meet your younger self the very first day that you stepped into the kitchen, what advice would you give him?

I would tell myself to learn as much as I can from as many people as possible. I would also travel more, eat a lot and take notes. It's important to see what others are cooking as these offer inspiration. The idea is to make every little experience count!

You can find COLLIN’S® at 21 easily accessible locations around Singapore, at Cineleisure Orchard, Marina Square, Jubilee Square and more. Visit www.collins.sg/outlets for more details.