Sweet Unity: Chef Mark Singson Creates a Vancouver-Inspired Halo-Halo in ‘Culinary Perspectives’ - LA Wine & Dine

In the second volume of the digital cookbook produced by Lexus, the Top Chef Canada finalist mixes heritage and home.


The classic halo-halo takes center stage in the second volume of Culinary Perspectives, a global digital cookbook produced by Japanese luxury carmaker Lexus. “The traditional halo halo normally contains seven or eight components including crushed ice, beans, jellies, nuts, puffed rice, and much more,” says Top Chef Canada finalist Chef Mark Singson, who came up with the recipe.

For this version, Singson says he’s simplified the components to four, and looked to his Vancouver home for inspiration.

“This recipe uses the beautiful local stone fruit of British Columbia as a garnish but during the fall months, I might use pumpkin or whatever else inspires me from the area. If you’re in a rush, this is a perfect dessert since all ingredients can be made ahead of time,” he shares.

In his version of the cool dessert, Singson makes use of stewed cherries, lime tonka granita, and slivered almonds, which is finished off with olive oil for a bitter, fruity, and nutty note.

Around the world

Drawing from his lively heritage and childhood years in Manila, Singson utilizes skill refined in esteemed kitchens to honor Filipino cuisine. His time on Top Chef Canada in 2018 challenged his experience built from cooking in restaurants such as Boneta and AnnaLena in Vancouver and Vue de monde and Saint Crispin in Melbourne, inspiring him in his independent career as a private chef to make confident, charismatic dishes which leave a lasting impression.

Singson joins an exclusive list of world-renowned chefs, who are also culinary partners of Lexus, featured in the cookbook. They all shared enticing menus of robust dishes which have been enjoyed at Lexus events around the world. 

Other recipes in the cookbook include Tuna Tartare by Chef Ricardo Sanz of “Kabuki,” Madrid; Heirloom Tomato Salad by Chef Nick Martinez of Intersect by Lexus, New York; and Warm Lobster Taco with Yellow Salsa by Chef Dean Fearing at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.

Dishes by Chefs Sergio and Javier Torres, Leonardo Jun Sakamoto, Reuben Riffel, Matsuo Nagasaka, Zdenek Pohlreich, and Emil Roux are also in Culinary Perspectives.

Cross-cultural journey

First introduced in July of last year, Culinary Perspectives is part of the social media-driven program called Lexus Creates which aims to both inform and delight with topics related to the Lexus brand hallmarks of design and craftsmanship.

“Culinary Perspectives enables Lexus to connect with our audience on a topic of deep personal interest to them,” says Lexus International general maanger Brian Bolain. “We hope our audience will embrace this opportunity to explore their own epicurean artisanship.”

The ten recipes in the collection provide a menu for a multi-course meal across a range of difficulty levels that can be mastered by novice chefs or expert culinary architects in the comfort of their homes.

Lexus Creates: Culinary Perspectives Volume 2 was written by Joshua David Stein, a James Beard Award-nominated author whose work has appeared in the Best American Food Writing, and a former restaurant critic for the Village Voice and New York Observer.  He has been the editor-in-chief of Blackbook magazine and a senior editor at Departures, Eater, and Black Ink magazines.

The cookbook’s foreword is by contributing writer Chef Nyesha J. Arrington, celebrated for her advocacy of recipes using farm fresh, local and responsibly sourced ingredients and whose culinary approach is inspired by diverse cultures, flavors and techniques from around the world. 

She reminds us of the deeper arc of culinary themes by celebrating amazing meals. Bringing joy to eating is rooted in the anticipation of one’s need and the hospitality ethos of the Lexus brand known as omotenashi.

Lexus Creates: Culinary Perspectives Volume 2 is available for free download on Lexus.com.

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