Thursday, February 17, 2011
Chef Santi, You Will Be Remembered
I think you all know by now that we lost a fine Spanish chef yesterday evening right here in Singapore. The illustrious Santi Santamaria passed away during the dine-around tour at the Grand Opening of the Marina Bay Sands, which saw all seven celebrity chefs converge to formally unveil their restaurants at the Integrated Resort. He was only 53.
For me, it's extra shocking and surreal, because we all saw him on stage just a couple of hours before the unfortunate incident. He was still hale and hearty, still sharing his love of food and cooking. And about how everyone, regardless of passport/nationality, can enjoy the same food.
There he is in the photo above, right in the centre. From left to right - after the guy in black suit is Mario Batali (from New York), Daniel Boulud (New York), Wolfgang Puck (Los Angeles), Santi Santamaria (Barcelona), Guy Savoy (Paris), Tetsuya Wakuda (Sydney) and Justin Quek (Singapore). The last guy who joined in for the photos on the far right is Chef Christopher Christie, Executive Chef of Marina Bay Sands (thanks to a reader's comment below).
Well, Santi is already sorrowfully missed by many. He's always come across as warm-hearted and jovial, very easy to like. This was a chef who believed in using natural ingredients and processes to bring out the best in food. May his loving creations continue on in his restaurants.
My deepest condolences to his daughter Regina, his family (I read he just became a grandfather last week?), his friends and his staff. I cannot imagine how difficult a time it must be for them.
Photo with Regina and Santi from Aug 2010 at Santi's during the launch of the tapas bar.
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