Michael Han

At first glance, Michael Han is not your typical chef: quiet, soft-spoken and shy, not to mention a law degree holder. No trace of the Gordon Ramsey-esque ‘tough love’ qualities can you see in this young man. However, ask him a question about his restaurant, ‘FiftyThree’, and why he decided to pursue a career in cooking and you will find the commitment, passion, and above all, dedication to excellence in his answers about good food and cooking that define all the great chefs of the world. Michael began his career in cooking, gradually starting at home-grown fine dining restaurant ‘Au Jardin’ before moving on to stints at ‘The Fat Duck’, ‘L’Enclume’ and ‘Anthony’s’ in England; ‘Mugaritz’ in San Sebastian, Spain; and, ‘Noma’ in Copenhagen, Denmark. His cooking style reflects both his personality and broad range of training. It also underlies his openness to using a wide range of ingredients from both Europe and Asia. Very much inspired by the natural environment, he believes purity of flavour, lightness and different combinations of playful textures are central to his cooking, whilst employing modern cooking techniques and sciences to achieve these objectives. At the 2011 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence, Michael won ‘Rising Chef of the Year’, with ‘FiftyThree’ taking the honour of ‘Restaurant of the Year’. Since its opening in 2009, ‘FiftyThree’ has also been featured in San Pellegrino’s ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants Regional Spotlight’ in 2010 and 2011, and in the New York Times both as a ‘Choice Table’ and Michael as one of three chefs to revolutionize the Singapore culinary scene.