Philip Chia, began his passionate love affair with cooking from the age of 6, starting with helping in the kitchen by pounding spices with a "batu lesong" to make sambal belachan, for his adopted family at Joo Chiat Road. His love for cooking grew day by day - he started picking up cooking tips from his auntie and recorded the ingredients and the step-by-step cooking methods in his handy exercise book
In 1977, he was invited to participate in a cooking competition organised and sponsored by Sime Darby. Although he was the youngest contestant, he emerged among the top eight in the finals, judged by the late Mrs Lee Chin Koon (MM Lee Kuan Yew's mother). This event spurred him further and Philip learnt how to cook Peranakan dishes such as Geram Assam, Udang Masak Nanas, Masak Lemak Fish Cake and Ayam Pedas Siam from his Eldest Aunt, Auntie Alice Chia (Mak Koh).
Throughout his growing up years, Philip had picked up little tips and secrets of authentic Peranakan cooking from the older generation Peranakans. Subsequently, he joined The Peranakan Association. From then on, he developed a greater appreciation for the Peranakan culture especially for food and cooking, by taking part in the Peranakan Food Fairs and Cooking Demonstrations.
In 2001, Philip started his own small home catering business for his personal friends. By 2005, he was already flooded with requests from his friends and personal contacts for demonstrations on Healthy Cooking and Vegetarian Peranakan Cooking. Armed with his knowledge, research and creativity, Philip began experimenting and exploring Healthy Peranakan Cooking using organic foods and sauces and then teaching people how to cook and eat right.
Since then, Philip has been approached by various cookware companies to do cooking demonstrations and shows at the various departmental stores and events. In November 2005, Philip was invited as a Guest Chef at Phoenix Hotel where he was involved in the Peranakan Food Promotion held in conjunction with the Peranakan Festival organised by The Peranakan Association and supported by Singapore Tourism Board, The Gunong Sayang Association & Asian Civilisations Museum.
In 2006, Philip was invited to do cooking demonstrations at various departmental stores for cookware brands like "Berndes", "Mastrad" and "La-Gourmet".
In May 2007, he was the Guest Chef for the Peranakan Food Promotion at Raffles the Plaza Hotel. During the 10-day event, he did cooking demonstration on the weekends as a "Bibik" in "Baju Panjang".
2008 has indeed been a busy year for Philip. On 21 January 2008, for instance, he opened his own cooking studio called "Rice" where he teaches cooking lessons and provides private fine-dining at his premise.
In March 2008, Philip flew to Prague for the SALIMA Food Exhibition 2008 as an invited Guest Chef promoting Singapore Manufacturing Foods and Peranakan cuisines to Europe.
Philip sealed his celebrity chef status in March to April this year where he was invited to present 12 Peranakan Wedding dishes for local TV Sitcom "Sayang-Sayang" which is currently on air.
In May 2008, Philip was invited to be a Guest Chef for the Peranakan Food Promotion at Fairmont Hotel where he did an Interactive Cooking Demonstration with the dinner time crowd.
Then on 15FEB 2009,Straits Times wrote an interview article about his life history of how being the Youngest child of 13 children was foster out to his late nanny and grew up to learn all the cooking methods and lifestyle of a Typical peranakan family. He shared also about his unforeseen mishap regarding his heart attack in year 2007 and how this has changed his perception in life and began seriously teaching and imparting all his skills and knowledge to his students.
This year,20 Apr-03May,Philip was invited by Meritus Mandarin Singapore to do another Peranakan Food Promotion at their ChatterBox,
In May 2009,Philip was invited by CEO of Singapore Pool to cook “TOK-PANJANG” Dinner for 200 VIPs.
In July 2009,Philip has been invited by Temasek Polytechnic to be Guest Chef to teach the Third Year Students in their Ethnic cuisine,namely Peranakan.".
Currently,Philip is now the Guest Chef for People’s Association “Culinary Journey” for 2009 where he teaches in various Community Centres.
Also appear in current MediaCorp SitCom : Sayang-Sayang2 in the First Episode where in this scene he prepares Desserts and Food for “Auntie’s Pearly Tua-Seh-Jit” (Birthday Party)
On 28NOV 2009,Philip was the Guest Chef for The Peranakan Association Dinner & Dance at Swissotel Ballroom
On 03DEC 2009 ,Philip did a Peranakan Cooking Class at VIVO TANGS for their EXCLUSIVE customers and it was well received.
On 05DEC 2009,Philip was invited by TAMPINES COURTS to showcase Healthy Peranakan Dishes for their 3rd Anniversary and it was overwhelming.
In Dec 2009,Philip was invited again by Fairmont Hotel,Plaza-Market-Café to do Peranakan Food Promotions.
On 29Jan 2010,Philip was invited by People’s Association to be the Guest Chef for their 50th Anniversary and he prepares Finger Peranakan Foods such as
BuahKeluak Canapes,Spicy Fish Floss on mini toasts etc for the 250 VIPs (Ministers including our PM Lee Hsien Loong,Board of Directors,CEOs)
In March 2010,Philip will launch his First CookBook (Peranakan Kuehs & Desserts) and will be managing a cooking studio where there will be regular cooking & baking classes.
On 14July 2010,Philip was the Guest Chef for local TV Channel 5 in “Entertainment on 5” where he teach actor Paul Foster (half peranakan) to cook Ayam BuahKeluak and Kueh Putu-Tegair to serve actress Jeanette Aw who was the lead actress in “The Little Nyonya”.
Then on 24July 2010,Philip was invited by National Cancer Centre to give a talk and cooking demonstration of How to plan healthy diet meals in prevention of cancer.
Again,on 23Oct 2010,Philip was invited to National Cancer Centre to give a Talk and two Cooking Sessions on their Breast Cancer Awareness Month event to 80 survivor Breast Cancer patients.
In Nov & Dec 2010,Philip was invited by InterContinental Hotel to present a “Peranakan High-Tea at their Lobby Lounge” with a Twist to peranakan foods into finger foods/tapas .
Philip have also taught partime at Temasek Polytechnic as their Guest Chef in Peranakan Cooking for the Diploma students in Baking & Culinary Science since Jan 2009 till Dec,2011.
On 09July 2011,Philip was the Guest Chef for The Peranakan Association 111th Dinner Anniversary and it was held at Grand Copthorne Hotel where he did a Menu for the Theme “WEDDING BANQUET”
On 07Nov 2011,Philip was invited to cook Bhutanese food for a Bhutan Art Exhibition at 1D Yong Siak Street in Tiong Bahru. It was well received by the Bhutanese as well as the locals. MediaCorp Channel,OKTO came to filmed it.
In Nov 2011, Philip has just completed writing his second cookbook “The Peranakan Heritage Cooking” with his life story since childhood .It was published by Marshall Cavendish and supported by National Heritage Board . It was released in all major bookshops in Jan 2012.
On 25Nov to 04Dec at the Orchid Country Club,Philip did a Buffet spread of his specialities as a Peranakan Food Promotion and since his cookbook just released,more than 300 copies were sold during this event.
Whole year 2012,Philip have done various cooking demonstrations in various malls on Heritage & Healthy cooking.
On 27Jan 2013,Philip was invited to do “Peranakan Heritage on making of Pineapple Tarts” at Jurong Point and it was so overwhelmed. Many people not aware how tedious it is to make them.
Also,in Jan 2013,Philip was invited by PA HQ,to participate in Culinary Journey but this time it’s about my Peranakan Heritage of what are the dishes cooked during Chinese New Year ReUnion dinners and the goodies.
Currently,Philip is mentoring a young potential chef,Linus Tan to learn all about peranakan cooking and we will be offering Private-Dining menus to whoever want our services. We have just created a Facebook Page: “RICE Cooking Studio”,do visit us and be updated for the various events and activities.
Philip is planning to write another two/three cookbooks next year together with Chef Linus with a different Twist to it.
Stay tune and we shall update you soon!