When Paul Foster eats like an emperor
Celebrity Chow with actor-host Paul Foster
Local actor-host Paul Foster is a foodie through and through.
"I live to eat," the hunky 34-year-old told M.
"That's why I train at the gym as much as possible, so I can afford to eat what I love."
Born and raised in Singapore, Foster is a mix of East and West thanks to his British-Peranakan parentage. His taste in food ranges from European fare like oxtail stew to Asian cuisine like Thai curries.
He can be seen in local comedy-drama Working Class, which airs on Wednesdays at 9.30pm on Channel 5.
It revolves around four individuals looking for their dream jobs in a relentless corporate world. Foster plays idealistic overachiever Nick.
We met Foster at Austrian restaurant Kaiserhaus, which opened at Capitol Theatre in July.
It's a familiar hangout started by his Austrian cousin-in-law chef Hans Lüftenegger, previously the group executive chef for (German restaurant chain) Brotzeit.
"I like the food here as it's very good quality, hearty comfort food that fills you up," said Foster. "They also have amazing desserts."
What's the difference between German and Austrian cuisine?
"Austrian food is similar to German food but has more influences from Italy, Hungary and Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) because they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire."
As Foster tucks into the cold cuts and cheese platter, Bohemian pork roast and Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet), he also helps himself to a generous portion of Tafelspitz, a slow-cooked beef broth simmered with carrots, potatoes and bone marrow.
It is served with toasted bread, rosti (fried potatoes), creamed spinach and spicy horseradish sauce.
"This was the favourite dish of Franz Josef I, one of the Emperors of Austria-Hungary," Foster said. "It's a very grand dish and you feel like an emperor when you eat it."
Do you consider yourself a good cook?
I enjoy cooking for myself. I've had a lot of food gigs in my career and specialise in whipping up dishes from leftovers: See what I have and just whack. I like cooking pasta, Indian dhal, chicken tikka and making curries from scratch.
Did you have any interesting food stories while filming Working Class?
My character, Nick, gets fired from his job in the first episode. So he tries a new job in every episode.
In one, I played a roti prata man in a sarong and T-shirt. I had to take lessons at a Balestier shop and it was really not easy - flipping it, creating the right shape, putting it in the pan.
My prata ended up having lots of holes.
Luckily, my character was supposed to be bad at it anyway.
I felt bad about wasting the prata, so I asked to eat my own scraps afterwards.
Is there anything you won't eat?
I'm allergic to capsicum. It gives me heartburn or indigestion.
But I like to try everything at least once. I don't really like organs and I'd struggle to eat sheep's eyeballs, but I plan to try balut (boiled developing duck embryo in its shell).
What is a good dish to cook for a date?
I would bake some salmon with basil, salt, pepper and olive oil, then serve it with couscous, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes and some wine.
My girlfriend of two years, Jenna Sendall, the assistant manager at Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, is pescatarian (eats seafood but not meat).
Wego vegetarian about once a week. I don't think I could ever be completely vegetarian as I enjoy meat, but I'm fine going meat-free sometimes as it's healthier.