estled on the second floor of The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, Bespoke has quickly established itself as a go-to spot for meat lovers.
The dry-aged steaks, Spanish cuisine vibes, and seafood gems are complemented by classic cocktails as well as a balanced list for gin&tonic fans.
When taking in the experience of a new restaurant, we are first greeted by the interior, then food presentation, and finally flavors.
But when it comes to truly understanding the idea of a restaurant, we have to get to know the chef.
We chatted with one of the creative minds behind the menu at Bespoke, Chef Cesar A. Perez De Anda.
Dishes at Bespoke glow with Spanish cuisine vibes. Tell us a bit more about where you draw the inspiration for new recipes from?
When coming up with a menu I just tried to showcase my roots, where I come from.
The slow cooking tradition and retaining the natural flavor of the product were very important to me but introducing wood and charcoal to the cooking process is also significant. That is the way cooking was done before gas and electricity!
How does the process of creating a new dish usually work? Is it like writing songs for musicians, where some find the melody, and others find lyrics easier? Do you have an ingredient in mind and then start from there or is there a flavor you are looking to attain?
It is different for every chef.
For me personally, all the work is done in my head. Starting with the creative process, thinking about techniques and flavors that will match well together- all is in the mind!
The physical part is only the execution of the dish and then adjusting quantities from there.
What is your favorite or a dish at Bespoke?
That will be the char-grilled octopus.
It is our own interpretation of pulpo a la gallega which is an octopus, sliced potatoes, and paprika powder.
In our version, the octopus is slow-cooked, then char-grilled and comes with new potatoes sprinkled in paprika and olive oil, paprika emulsion, and dehydrated chorizo crumble
You worked in Copenhagen and New York before, what is different or special about F&B scene in Shanghai?
All three of them are very different. Both Copenhagen and New York are famous for their wide range of high-quality restaurants, chefs, and a long tradition of the culinary industry. Shanghai is growing and changing so fast, it will definitely catch up with the old-timers very soon.
Is there anyone you look up to or currently admire in the culinary industry?
Copenhagen and New York definitely gave me the opportunity to work with some great chefs. Such as Rene Redzepi, who always respects the nature of the ingredients he works with and showcases the true flavors without over manipulating.
I also had a chance to work with Frederik Bresellius in New York. He was really the master of weaving simplicity and artistry into the composition of every dish.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with right now?
In Autumn, I love to work with Jerusalem artichokes also known as sunchokes. They have this great earthy flavor and are so versatile.
Taste Chef’s masterpieces yourself and reserve a table at Bespoke now!
Bespoke Modern Bar & Grill
2F, The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan
1008 Beijing W Rd, Jing’an
Photo credits: The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, Emma Li