Originally hailing from Coff’s Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales, these days you can find Lachlan ‘Loki’ Lynch cooking up lobster rolls, steak frites or refined afternoon tea sets at ATLAS, Singapore’s coolest bar, or perhaps cruising East Coast Park on his long skateboard.
Loki spent most of his professional career in Sydney before moving to Singapore in 2018 to join ATLAS as Head Chef. He started early in the kitchen, assisting chefs during his spare time in high school and deciding at 16 he wanted to make cooking his career. “I used to help mum in the kitchen when I was younger,” says Loki. “When I was 14, I got a job in one of the resorts in Coffs Harbour where we were living. I fell in love with the pace and atmosphere of the kitchen.”
After graduating from The Hotel School – Sydney, Loki began his career working for Chef George Diamond at The Keystone Group. Starting as Chef de Partie, Loki eventually rose through the ranks to run multiple venues across Sydney with the hospitality group. Most recently, he worked as Head Chef of The Coogee Pavilion with Merivale for four years, before making a move to Singapore to pursue his role with ATLAS. “We relocated to Singapore in December 2018, because of the food culture and quality of restaurants and it being a great hub to access South East Asian countries,” says Loki. “I was impressed by the culture and ethos of the ATLAS team, as well as it being one of the world’s most iconic bars.”
When crafting a new menu for the bar, Loki was looking to bring a sense of fun and familiarity to his plates. “The brief for coming on board was to write a menu that was high quality, yet approachable food. So, items like my lobster roll and sausage roll fitted straight into the menu. So far, the lobster roll has been a fan favourite and so has the banana cream pie. But the streak frites will most likely be a main stay of the ATLAS menu.”
Atlas has a focus on drinks, with over 1000 varieties of gin and an impressive cocktail list, however Loki’s European- influenced menu provides the perfect balance. “The food compliments the drinks, but the plates aren’t complicated so they can pair easily,” says Loki. “The afternoon tea is the perfect way for non-drinkers to enjoy ATLAS with friends.”
The laidback Sydneysider is supported in the kitchen by a crack culinary team. “Fara, my sous chef, is my go-to when I need to get things done,” says Loki. “Being local she’s a very big help with sourcing different suppliers of food and knowing what’s available.”
Loki’s favourite thing about cooking is expanding his knowledge of flavours and techniques and he draws inspiration from reading, eating and using seasonal produce. Lately he’s been experimenting with fermentation and teaching himself about the process through The Noma Guide to Fermentation by Chef René Redzepi. “I also really like Mediterranean food – from Spanish and Italian through to Lebanese, Greek and Turkish,” says Loki. “One of my favourite snacks is gozleme, which is a Turkish pastry filled with spinach and white salty cheese, then grilled on hot plate. I haven’t found it in Singapore yet, but we make it at home all the time.”
The restrictions and shutdowns of Covid have impacted ATLAS, but they’ve been luckier than most F&B venues in Singapore, with patrons wanting to escape to its refined, elegant Art Deco space. “Lockdown periods are hard on everyone in hospitality, but with most people not able to travel we have found ATLAS super busy,” says Loki. “Our afternoon tea has been very popular.”
Loki was last in Australia in October 2018, and he misses loved ones and fishing on Sydney Harbour. The first thing he would eat back in Australia is a family favourite around a relaxed dinner table. “I’d eat my mum’s lamb roast; she always cooks one when I come home.”
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