The Late Michelin Star Chef Santi Santamaria  (third from Left) poses for a group photo with (from Left) fellow Celebrity Chefs Daniel Boulud,Wolfgang Puck, Guy Savoy, Tetsuya Wakuda, Justin Quek and Mario Batali (not seen in picture) at last night’s First Ever Celebrity Chef Dine-Around Gourmet Tour Media Session at Marina Bay Sands.

I woke up. Saw the news and was equally shocked and devastated. It was just hours ago when I saw the Late Michelin Star Chef Santi Santamaria at the press conference at Marina Bay Sands. He looked exceptionally jovial, was in a very good mood and sharing his joys of “eating” rather than “cooking”. As last night’s media event was a Dine-Around to 6 of the 7 celebrity chef restaurants, I looked forward to revisiting my experience at SANTI. There was some delay while touring the restaurants and the media was subsequently informed that Chef Santi was not well and the visit to his establishment cancelled for the night. Who knew what was to come.

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Still, I was very fortunate to have savoured SANTI culinary skills during a previous Media visit when he launched the Tapas experience at his restaurant in Singapore. A simple and classy preview on what was to be a gastronomic adventure.

Me, Regina Santamaria (Santi’s Daughter), and the late Chef Santi Santamaria

Chef Santi was from scratch a self taught chef. He was the first Catalan chef to receive the 3 Michelin star accolade, and his award –winning restaurant has consistently earned 3 Michelin stars since 1994. His other restaurant Santceloni, has recently been awarded 2 Michelin stars and is one of the top restaurants in Madrid.

 

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Life is really unpredictable. Chef Santi Santamaria passing was very sudden, and he has left a deep impression as a Master Chef in the culinary scene of both Singapore, and the world. He will be greatly missed by all. My deepest condolences to his family.

The quest for produce is the basis of my cuisine, together with imagination and the simplicity of those who strive for perfection – Santi Santamaria (2010)