The duo behind Esseplore’s popular seafood menus is husband and wife home chefs Andrew and Sandy, who decided to share their love of seafood with Singapore. 

Chefs Andrew Lee and Sandy Lie

Andrew and Sandy have similar backgrounds when it comes to cooking. Andrew currently works in the construction industry but grew up by the sea in Singapore, frequenting his grandfather’s kelong and helping his mother cook to feed their family, on the other hand, Sandy moved to Singapore in the 90s from a small town called Singkawang in Indonesia. She too learned to cook at an early age to help out her family, mastering the Hakka cuisine from her mother. They married in 2000, and Andrew and his family were more than keen on showing her the ways of the sea and the various kinds of seafood.  

Andrew’s home has always been the sea. His grandfather was a proud Catholic Teochew fisherman during the Japanese Occupation and used to own one of the few kelongs left in Singapore. It seems that fishing ran in their blood as Andrew’s father also took up the life of fisherman after retiring from his job as a contractor. It’s no wonder that Andrew fell in love with the trade as well. As an adult, he is an avid angler and even goes on overnight fishing expeditions on their own boat with his father, who he says is the best companion. He is aware of how much young people are wary of it. Fishing may be a dying hobby, popular only among the older generation.

Growing up they didn’t have a lot, but cooking and fishing were pleasures that have stayed with them since. Through his days fishing and his father’s connections, Andrew was able to meet and form partnerships with many of the local fishermen who he credits for his fresh supply, believing it to be the reason his menu stands out. His extensive knowledge of seafood has also helped him in choosing the best ingredients. Among the various type of seafood, Andrew and Sandy decided that crabs should be the star of their menus. 

His father briefly owned a fish farm, and from there, Andrew and Sandy were able to see and study the differences between fresh seafood and harvested seafood.    

Fresh caught wild crabs

One of the main differences between fresh and farmed crabs and prawns is size. Fresh ones from the kelong come in different sizes, farmed crabs and prawns are always the same sizes. Fresh crab meat is sweeter, so you don’t need to do much with it.”   

Chef Andrew

Both believe that fresh crabs taste best when eaten steamed and chilled with savoury side dishes. Their menu heavily depends on the freshness of their ingredients due to which they avoid processed food, MSG and salt in their cooking. Their recipes have been passed down to them from their families and have been perfected over time. Since both Andrew and Sandy are passionate about cooking, they love experimenting with traditional recipes and always look to improve their seafood dishes.  Their Fresh Kelong Seafood feast is one of Esseplore’s best-sellers with crowd-favourite Steamed and Chilled Crab and Chilli Crab. 

With the encouragement and support of their friends and family, they took a leap of faith to share their passion. And we’re so glad that they did! Check out Chefs Andrew and Sandy’s mouth-watering fresh seafood menus only on esseplore.cooking   

Tanya

Author Tanya

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