The Chef and his Beast

Never judge a Wrangler till you turn up at a gala dinner in one

Well marinated to the local flavour, in his own words, Chef Julien or simply “Chef” to his fellow Jeepers has spent almost 20 years in sunny Singapore. And through the years, he’s busied himself with different restaurants and currently runs a food central production business dealing with Sous Vide and gourmet cuisine that he supplies to hotels and restaurants.

Getting out of his stunning blue Wrangler he dubs the “Beast”, he didn’t miss a single beat as he made his way into Jeep’s showroom and greeted staff like they were old friends. Noted for his fine dining restaurant at Fullerton Boathouse from 2003 — 2013, you’d think most chefs of his caliber would be zipping around in a sports car instead.

Charming and warm, Chef stood on no airs, and despite calling himself “Atas” he was really down to earth and he loved trading stories about the adventures he’s had. It’s hard to picture him getting down and dirty, but as a man who regularly visits suppliers and farms in Malaysia, a couple of minutes with him and you could tell that although he does care about an image, he doesn’t think it needs to always be posh and pristine.

As I later found out, Chef does indeed own a sports car, a Ferrari, but you could tell the Wrangler was his pride and joy.

“How fast can you really go in Singapore? The Wrangler fits right into the city”

Having moved around Asia throughout his 35 years in different cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo, he comes across as an assured individual that knows what he wants all the time. However when faced with getting a new car 3 years ago, Chef was faced with a dilemma. Walking into the Jeep showroom for the first time, he admitted that the Wrangler caught his eye, but he was intimidated by the tough look it had. On that afternoon, he drove away in his first Jeep, the Grand Cherokee.

It took a couple of road trips up to Malaysia with the rest of the Jeep community in his Grand Cherokee before he decided to get behind the wheel of his current Wrangler. Driving it now for 8 months, and he already speaks of the plans he has to drive all the way up to Chiang Mai.

He used to think Jeeps were only for a certain kind of people, but he believes that’s all changing. There’s no one type of person that fits the bill of a Jeep no matter which vehicle they’re driving. when pressed about his impressions of his Wrangler in Singapore, he deftly addressed the question with a question in kind.

“The Wrangler is perfect for the outdoors among nature, and Singapore is a garden city, what can you drive in a garden?”

He even attended a gala dinner recently with his wife, where he was in a Tuxedo and his wife in her gown. He didn’t look a bit out of place, “The Wrangler is classy, it has an Atas look” he quipped.

Now that he has one, he’s asked himself, “Why didn’t I get one sooner?”