Entertainment

Adam's most personal season of Destination Flavour yet

Adam Liaw in a scene from the TV series Destination Flavour Singapore.
Adam Liaw in a scene from the TV series Destination Flavour Singapore. Tan Zexun

ADAM LIAW says the fifth season of Destination Flavour is its best yet.

It's a big call that comes on the back of the last season winning big at the AACTA Awards.

With a much smaller location and a more personal story to tell, Liaw might be taking another statue home in 2017.

This time, he's heading to Singapore and the tiny city state has a big story to tell, both in food and in family history.

Liaw's mother was born in Singapore and his grandfather was interned in Changi Prison during the Second World War.

After exploring this part of his family history with a camera crew in tow, courtesy of coroner and police records, Liaw invited his mum to be part of the series.

The result is an honest, and sometimes tragic, look at Singapore's food history and the heavy influence of its migrant past.

"It's so different to the other seasons," Liaw says. "It was more personally challenging."

Adam Liaw with his beef satay in a scene from Destination Flavour Singapore.
Adam Liaw with his beef satay in a scene from Destination Flavour Singapore. Contributed

The first story the season takes on is that of Singapore's street vendors, one of whom is Liaw's cousin.

The two had never met before making a Hainan chicken rice dish that Liaw's cousin has been serving for more than 30 years.

The dish is served by many Singaporean street food vendors and traces its origins back to emigrants who came to Singapore from China.

This rich immigration history is a theme Liaw says will be on show throughout the nine episodes, especially when exploring the culture of the country's roadside vendors.

"Generations of their family story is literally one single recipe," he says.

"When you want to get an impression of food, you can't just look at taste and flavour in isolation.

"Food doesn't need to be expensive, or even good … food is kind of a medium for telling a story."

Speaking to ARM's The Guide, Liaw was still riding the buzz of his win at the 2016 AACTAs. The show's fourth season, Destination Flavour Scandinavia, won Best Lifestyle Television Program, much to the surprise of its creators.

"We've always tried to make a food show that wasn't an ordinary food show," Liaw says.

"Usually those kind of shows don't win awards."

The father-of-two rose to fame on the second season of MasterChef Australia, leaving a successful law career behind after winning the reality show's title. Less than two years later he launched the first season of Destination Flavour.

He hopes the series will take on China in future seasons. It has already explored Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan.

Destination Flavour Singapore premieres tonight at 8pm on SBS.

Topics:  sbs food sbs tv singapore


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