5 Recipes to Become a Professional Home Cook

We’re living in unprecedented times of uncertainty – the COVID-19 situation has caught many of us off guard and altered our daily lives and routines. One of the biggest changes we’ve had to adapt to is spending much more time at home; whether it is part of social distancing measures, work-from-home arrangements, full lockdowns and so on.

Instead of just relying on instant food, take-out and deliveries, make the best of the situation and hone your cooking skills and become the next #Masterchef at home! It’s time to learn from the best of the best – here are some recipes and tips from five highly acclaimed Hilton chefs and restaurants from around the region to get you started. With a wealth of experience under their belts, these chefs have even won accolades for their culinary feats.

Power Salad and Detox Zinger

From Verde Kitchen, Hilton Singapore 

Start off with something simple and healthy: the chefs at Verde Kitchen, known for their nutritious, farm-to-table menus, recommend this Power Saladmade with a super-simple list of ingredients but is still chock full of vitamins. This is perfect to help boost immunity at this crucial time, and also debunks the myth that healthy meals have to be bland and boring. For the complete clean-eating experience, go bold with the Detox Zinger, a green-juice that’s sure to pack a real punch! The shot of ginger not only adds some spice to the drink, but also helps to strengthen immunity with its anti-oxidant properties.


For the Salad:

  • 1 ½ cup mixed baby lettuce
  • ¼ cup broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup sliced avocado
  • ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • ⅛ cup shredded zucchini
  • ⅛ cup diced yellow squash
  • ⅛ cup raisins
  • ¼ thinly sliced apple
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 50ml orange juice
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 20ml honey
  • 2 green apples
  • ½ cucumber
  • 20g ginger
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 2 stalks of celery


Difficulty : Easy
Preparation : 10 min
Cooking : 10 min
Serves 1

  1. To prepare the salad dressing, mix the olive oil, orange juice and honey together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients in another large bowl.
  3. Pour the salad dressing. Mix, toss and serve.

For the Detox Zinger:

  • 2 green apples
  • ½ cucumber
  • 20g ginger
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 2 stalks of celery


Difficulty : Easy
Preparation : 1 min
Cooking : 1 min
Serves 1

  1. Cut all the ingredients into chunks and blend them in a juicer.

Spaghetti Carbonara

From Mandar Madav, Executive Chef, Conrad Centennial Singapore

There’s a lot more to making a perfect Spaghetti Carbonara than meets the eye. Chef Mandar’s detailed step-by-step breakdown and sprinkling of tips and tricks – such as not making the cream liaison too early – will help you truly understand and master the dish. It can be easy to lose motivation and feel down if you’re cooped up at home all day, so why not set yourself a new goal and challenge yourself to perfect this recipe? It’ll be a great break from your routine, and you get a comforting bowl of pasta at the same time.


  • 100g pancetta
  • 50g pecorino cheese (grated)
  • 50 parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 2 plump garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100ml cooking cream
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Sea salt


Difficulty: Medium
Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 15 min
Serves 2

  1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil.
  2. Chop 100g pancetta, having first removed any rind.
  3. In a clean bowl, finely grate 50g pecorino cheese and 50g parmesan and mix them together.
  4. In a deep pan, allow water to roll boil, and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil in water
  5. Season the water with enough salt.
  6. Add in the pasta. Cook al dente.

Cooking Tip: Always take five times the quantity of water to that of pasta.  It helps pasta to roll boil properly

  1. While the pasta is blanching, take a clean pan and add in the pancetta.
  2. Start cooking on medium flame, allow pancetta to cook until golden brown. Keep stirring in between.
  1. Cooking Tip: Take a room temperature pan and add in the pancetta before turning on the flame. By allowing the pancetta to cook on medium heat, this will render the fat well and the pancetta will become crispy in its own fat.
  1. Once done, add the chopped garlic.
  2. Make a liaison of cheese, egg yolks and cooking cream.

Cooking Tip: Never make the liaison too early, as it will make dry up the emulsification quality of egg yolk which is needed for the pasta

  1. Turn the heat under the pancetta to low.
  2. When the pasta is ready, lift it from the water with tongs and put it in the frying pan with the pancetta.

Cooking Tip: Don’t worry if a little water drops in the pan as well (you want this to happen) and don’t throw the pasta water away yet.

  1. Take the pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat.
  2. Pour in the liaison and mix well using tongs so that the spaghetti is not damaged. Please ensure that the flame is off and you are not cooking the pasta anymore.
  3. If the pasta is too thick, add a tablespoon of water (do not add the pasta water as it is salty)
  4. Add cracked pepper and salt (If required).

Fun Fact!
Do not forget to add the cracked pepper! Carbonara roughly translates to “in the manner of coal miners,” and the likely origin of the name is a Roman restaurant named Carbonara. However, it may also have earned its name because the flecks of black pepper appear like coal dust against the creamy eggs, cheese, and pasta

Hawaiian Poke Bowl

From Colin Chun, Executive Chef, Hilton Sydney

It’s time to level up with this traditional Hawaiian Poke Bowl, a no-frills classic that heroes fresh ingredients while still being jam-packed with flavor. Having previously worked at some of the most popular restaurants in Sydney, Chef Colin’s specialty lies in his innovative palate – in this recipe, he features gochujang (Korean chilli paste), a unique twist that offers an added dimension of flavor and is bound to leave you wanting more. Be sure to plate up well and capture a picture for the ‘gram! #foodporn


For the Bowl: 

  • 120g Sashimi quality fish ( diced 1cm cube, tuna or salmon)
  • 150g cooked rice (white sushi rice, black sticky rice or brown rice)

For the Dressing:

  • 45g gochujang paste (Korean chilli paste)
  • 15g sugar
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • 15ml sesame oil
  • 30g soy sauce
  • 3g garlic clove (minced)
  • 5ml lime juice

For the Garnish:

  • 30g Avocado (diced)
  • 20g Cucumber (diced)
  • 20g Carrot (diced or sliced)
  • 5g Radish (sliced)
  • 10g mixed green salad (torn to small size) or iceberg lettuce


Difficulty: Easy
Preparation: 10 min
Serves 1

  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and combine them using a whisk.
  2. In a serving bowl, place cooked rice and top with raw fish.
  3. Arrange all other garnishes on the rice and fish and serve with dressing on the side.

Sweet & Sour Pork with Fruits

From Masaki Yanagiya, Head Chef of DYNASTY, Hilton Tokyo

For those who are more adventurous, challenge yourself with this unique Sweet & Sour Pork with Fruits.  Bringing together both sweet and savoury, this dish offers an innovative amalgamation of flavours that brings a unique twist to the much-loved Chinese dish. After all, having helmed Hilton Tokyo’s Dynasty Chinese Restaurant for more than ten years, there’s no doubt that Chef Masaki has absolutely mastered the art of Chinese cuisine – he even received the Tokyo Governor Recognition Outstanding Chef Award in 2013!


  • 6 thin slices of pork belly
  • 6 pieces of green grapes
  • 6 strawberries
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 50g sliced onion
  • Potato starch
  • Fine strips of leek (optional)

For the Black Vinegar Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of crystal sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of potato starch with water

For the Garnish:

  • 30g Avocado (diced)
  • 20g Cucumber (diced)
  • 20g Carrot (diced or sliced)
  • 5g Radish (sliced)
  • 10g mixed green salad (torn to small size) or iceberg lettuce


Difficulty: Medium
Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 10 min
Serves 2

  1. Lay sliced pork belly on a flat surface and sprinkle salt and pepper
  2. Coat green grapes, strawberry and cherry tomato with potato starch
  3. Coat sliced pork belly with potato starch
  4. Place a piece of green grape on the pork and nicely roll-up. Do the same with the strawberries and cherry tomatoes
  5. Once all ingredients are nicely rolled up, sprinkle potato starch onto them
  6. Heat oil (mid-temperature) and deep-fry above ingredients
  7. Prepare black vinegar sauce:
    1. Combine water, sugar and crystal sugar in a pan and heat up.
    2. Once boiled, add all the vinegars and soy sauce.
  8. Sir in the fried pork. Once blended, thicken with potato starch and water.
  9. Garnish pork with onion and leek.

Sydney Cheesecake

From Miko Aspiras, Executive Pastry Chef, Hilton Sydney

Of course, there’s always room for a sweet ending! Take it from experts like Chef Miko, who previously secured a spot in Asia’s Forbes 30 Under 30 – a good cheesecake is hard to perfect and requires a lot of heart, effort and precision. But rest assured, the effort is well worth it. With Chef Miko’s Sydney Cheesecake recipe, expect a simple yet sophisticated take on this indulgent dessert. It’s every sweet tooth’s fantasy.


For the Graham Base: 

  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter, plus extra for brushing
  • ⅓ cup of sugar

For the Cheesecake: 

  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 ⅓ cups cream cheese
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream/ yogurt


Difficulty: Medium
Preparation: 30 min
Baking: 2h 20 min
Makes one 8-inch cake

  1. Preheat oven to 149°C. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with foil. Brush base with melted butter.
  2. Make the graham base:
    1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl using your hands until well incorporated.
    2. Press the graham cracker mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
    3. Place pan in a shallow baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
    4. Keep springform pan in the baking dish and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Decrease oven temperature to 129°C.
  4. Whisk together cornstarch and water until completely dissolved.
  5. Simmer cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in dissolved cornstarch. Stir until mixture is thick, then immediately strain the mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese, sugar, scraped vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract until smooth, light, and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with every addition.
  8. Pour in thickened cream mixture. Mix until well combined.
  9. Scatter half of the roughly crumbled graham crackers on top of the prepared base.
  10. Pour batter over.
  11. Tap pan to release air bubbles. Top with remaining crumbled graham crackers.
  12. Fill the shallow baking dish, around the springform pan, halfway with hot water.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until cheesecake is firm but still jiggly at the center. Let cool to room temperature before chilling overnight.
  14. Decorate the top with whipped cream, graham cracker pieces, and fresh berries and fruits.

Images: Conrad Centennial Singapore, Hilton



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