Talented Chef: Alec Khoo – Executive Chinese Chef at Jiang-Nan Chun at...

Talented Chef: Alec Khoo – Executive Chinese Chef at Jiang-Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

Alec Khoo

Situated right in the middle of Singapore’s bustling cityscape, the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is the epitome of sophistication and elegance. Amid the many luxurious options, the hotel’s award-winning Cantonese restaurant Jiang-Nan Chun steals the show and entices guests to an extraordinary culinary journey. At the helm is Executive Chinese Chef Alec Khoo, a maestro in the art of gastronomy whose culinary prowess elevates dining to an unparalleled level of opulence.

The atmosphere of Jiang-Nan Chun creates the perfect setting for a magical dining experience from the moment you walk in. The restaurant expertly blends modern elegance with traditional Chinese motifs to create a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere. The design mirrors the culinary philosophy of Chef Khoo, who seamlessly blends classic Cantonese flavours with modern techniques to craft a symphony of tastes that tantalises the senses.

Chef Khoo’s dedication to innovation and authenticity is evident in the menu at Jiang-Nan Chun. Embodying the concept of Xiang Le Zhu Yi, the menu draws inspiration from the rich culinary heritage of the Jiangnan region in China. Each dish is a harmonious blend of flavours, textures and aromas that bring joy and happiness.

Chef Khoo’s culinary prowess is not only recognised locally but has also garnered international acclaim, with Jiang-Nan Chun receiving prestigious awards for its outstanding cuisine. The restaurant’s commitment to using the finest and freshest ingredients is evident in every bite, making it a favourite among connoisseurs and critics alike.

Signature dishes like the baked spiny lobster with superior stock exemplify Chef Khoo’s ability to reimagine traditional flavours with a contemporary twist. The succulent lobster, dressed in a rich and aromatic gravy, is a testament to the culinary magic that unfolds in the Jiang-Nan Chun kitchen.

Braised Spiny Lobster

When discussing Jiang-Nan Chun, it is impossible to overlook its dim sum selections, which are a showcase for Chef Khoo’s unwavering commitment to quality. From the delicate Four Seasons Steamed Rice Rolls to the flavourful steamed lobster and scallop dumplings, each bite is a celebration of craftsmanship.

E: How did you first get into the culinary industry? Has it always been your passion?
A: Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, I have pursued my love of the culinary arts since I was a young child, certain that this was my calling! My culinary career began as a junior cook in a local kitchen, which is really where I built my foundations. It soon propelled me to further develop my talent and technique, taking me to notable Cantonese restaurants across the peninsula before leading me to the kitchens of Singapore. I began working for Four Seasons Hotel Singapore in 2002, and as I have progressed with the business, I have had the honour of working with some of the best in the business.

E: Jiang-Nan Chun is an award-winning restaurant that barely needs any introduction. How would you describe the restaurant to someone who’s not in the industry or someone who is here for the first time?
A: Jiang-Nan Chun is named after Jiangnan, the idyllic southern Chinese region whose cities are celebrated in the well-known proverb “Born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou.” Chun signifies spring, which completes the restaurant’s name and exudes the promise of growth, renewal and pleasure that come with the season. The restaurant’s exquisite gastronomy, evocative furnishings and elegant interiors will delight the senses with the beauty of Jiangnan. It also embodies the concept of Xiang Le Zhu Yi, which uses only the finest ingredients, specially prepared dishes and elevated flavours to entice the palate. Guests can look forward to authentic chef-crafted dim sums, nutritious double-boiled soups and our unique signature Peking duck roasted in a mesquite wood-fired oven and served with caviar, paired with a premium selection of wines.

E: Singapore’s culinary scene is one of the most vibrant in the world. What do you think makes it stand out from the rest?
A: The culinary diversity. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is vividly reflected in its culinary landscape. Singapore is home to so many culinary influences, which contribute to its unique flavours, techniques, traditions and the unique way it brings people together through food.

E: Where do you draw inspiration for your culinary creations?
A: I think inspiration comes from everyday life. Personal travel experiences may provide it, as certain incidents have the power to mould the dishes’ stories. Even engaging with fellow chefs, artisans and food enthusiasts is a constant source of inspiration. Collaborative efforts and shared experiences open up new perspectives, leading to innovative and exciting culinary creations. For me, nature provides an ever-changing canvas, so the seasonality of ingredients is also a great source of inspiration for some of our menu creations.

E: How would you describe your cooking style?
A: I enjoy being in the kitchen, applying classical culinary techniques and creating inspiring dishes that are familiar yet intriguing.

E: How challenging is it to maintain such a high level of culinary creativity?
A: The culinary landscape is always evolving. This is especially driven, I think, for the most part by changing consumer preferences and needs and the desire for unique dining experiences. In our capacity, we are tasked with finding novel ideas that not only resonate with our artistic vision but also captivate the evolving tastes of our audience. Balancing tradition and innovation requires a delicate dance, as we strive to push boundaries without losing the essence of the restaurant’s culinary identity. As such, experimentation is important, but equally important is for us as chefs to recognise that it may not always be met with immediate success. Hence, we need to exhibit resilience in the face of setbacks, using them as stepping stones towards culinary mastery and honing our skills.  


  • Signature Jiang-Nan Chun Peking Duck
  • Braised Spiny Lobster
  • Fortune Jumbo Seafood Dumpling

Exquisite Taste Volume 42

Jiang-Nan Chun

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

190 Orchard Boulevard

Singapore 248646

T: (+65) 68317220

W: fourseasons.com/singapore

IG: @fssingapore