Michelin-starred Bacchanalia’s head chef Luke Armstrong is departing for Japan. In his place, 26-year-old French chef Vianney Massot, from the now-shuttered two-Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon will be helming the restaurant.
The establishment is set to go through a small identity shift as Massot is planning a new menu, one that combines French direction and techniques with the flourish of Asian produce. The space will also be going through a minor facelift while a sommelier will be overseeing a strong wine program.
These changes are set to be unveiled in the middle of September though what can be confirmed is that the open kitchen will be kept. It’s the most recent development in Singapore’s small pool of Michelin-starred restaurants, and one that’s been seeing multiple changes in recent memory. It comes in the trail of culinary giant Joel Robuchon’s passing and the closure of both of his restaurants in Singapore.
“For me as a chef, you have to keep going and challenging yourself,” says Armstrong. “It was a difficult decision because I’ve got friends, family and mentors here. But I have to keep growing and put myself back into the deep water.”
Armstrong has been heading the kitchen since chef Ivan Brehm’s departure in 2017 to open Nouri. He isn’t able to disclose his next restaurant but remarks that the Bacchanalia will be in good hands under chef Vianney.
While just 26, chef Vianney is the youngest chef in the Joel Robuchon Group and has worked under the tutelage of the French juggernaut for nine years. At Bacchanalia, the restaurant will be aiming to replicate L’atelier’s accolade in pushing for two stars.
“I would not have been here if not for Mr Robuchon,” shares chef Vianney. “I’m thankful for the expertise that he taught me all these years.
“For Vianney, it’s a chance to carry on Mr Robuchon’s legacy in a certain way,” adds Lim Kian Chun, co-founder of the Ebb & Flow Group, which now owns the restaurant. “But he’ll be doing it in his own way, with his own identity and creations but keeping to the Robuchon spirit.”
To mark his departure, chef Luke will be offering daily menus until 26 August when the restaurant closes for a refresher.
“Change is good,” concludes chef Luke. “That’s the best part about this industry.”