BonAppetour Hosts: Amrita Singh

BonAppetour Hosts: Amrita Singh

Let's hear from our affable and knowledgeable host, Amrita!

Having a fond passion for food, Amrita is knowleageable about various aspects of Indian cuisine, starting from its preparation methods, diversity of ingredients used, flavours generated as well as the differences between regional variations of the dishes. Apart from cooking, she enjoys travelling and engaging in thrilling activities. 

Prior to settling down in Singapore, Amrita lived in India and Sydney with her husband. The genial couple is keen to share their experiences and knowledge about Indian culture and cuisine over a delightful rooftop meal at their lovely home!

What do you like most about being a BonAppetour host?

I get to meet lots of different people of varying nationalities, and share with them the intricacies of Indian cuisine. I enjoy having the opportunity to share my passion for food, and to serve an array of dishes from various regions within India. These dishes range from Southern delicacies, such as briyani rice and dosa, to Northern specialties like chapati and paneer. 

Where do the locals go to eat in Singapore?

Hawker centres. 

What are some places that locals like to hang out at?

Hawker centres and fine dining restaurants.

What do you feel is the difference between a BonAppetour dining experience, and dining outside in an eatery or restaurant?

The BonAppetour dining experience is unique, as you get to meet people from different parts of the world. It is not simply about dining – the experience also provides interesting and insightful conversations, cultural exchange and sharing of good food. Our guests get to learn more about the food that they are served, such as its origins, ingredients used and preparation techniques. Dining in a local's home also makes the experience more authentic. It helps that we offer a rooftop setting, so our guests get to feast on a hearty meal and enjoy splendid views of the city. 

Having a meal in an eatery or restaurant lacks the warmth and personal touch that a home dining experience offers. You are also unlikely to engage in conversations with other diners, and to acquire knowledge about the dishes that you eat. 

What do you love about Singapore?

The weather. It is bright and sunny in Singapore most of the time, which I find uplifting. Even in instances of weather, there is the prospect of seeing a rainbow after the rain ceases.

I also like that before sunset, the sky resembles a mosaic painting. Beyond the meteorological aspects, I like that Singapore is a multi-cultural society that is well-connected, efficient and clean. 

Image Credits: 1 | 23  

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BonAppetour Hosts: Ileana Zagaglia

BonAppetour Hosts: Ileana Zagaglia

We had the opportunity to dine with Ileana during our recent trip to Rome. Friendly and cheerful, she warmly welcomed us for a meal in her beautiful home.

Apart from her passion for cooking, Ileana has a diverse array of interests, such as reading, travelling, art, interior design, sewing, ceramics, and more! We had a lovely time dining with her, and would highly recommend that you do the same during your sojourns to Italy.

Do read on below, to find out more about our fascinating and lively BonAppetour host:

What do you love about your city?  

I love summertime in Rome, and going around by scooter to discover new spots. Beautiful Rome always has a surprise for everyone, even for those who are living here.

I also love the feeling of driving around Via del Mandrione, or the nearby Via Casilina Vecchia. It feels like just like I am in a small village, quite like the ones you get in Garbatella. I also love walking around Piazza Del Fico, and shopping for food, such as searching for exotic ingredients in the Esquilino area.

Did you always have a passion for food and cooking? Tell us more about your experiences and background with cooking.

My culinary journey began out of sheer necessity – I left home for London when I was eighteen, and had no choice but to prepare my own meals during my stay abroad.

My interest for cooking was ignited with my discovery of Indian food. I felt that Indian food was so different and bold! I have always enjoyed eating, but I was never curious about finding out how to cook the dishes. After this spark of interest, I started a rediscovery of my culinary traditions, and also began exploring other kinds of cuisines.

I decided to take my interest in cooking seriously upon returning back to Rome. I enrolled in a cooking school, and gained certifications such as a commis chef diploma, a HACCP certificate and a membership with Federazione Italiana Cuochi.

I also completed a three-months internship at Giuda Ballerino, a Michelin-star restaurant. Those months were exhilarating and exhausting, and provided a great experience. I was lucky to join the chef and his team in the Cannes Film Festival, as we were the official Italian catering team during the festival.  

In 2012, my culinary research took a different turn, as I stopped eating and cooking meat and fish products. My latest courses are on vegan haute cuisine, and are held in Joia, the only Michelin-star vegetarian restaurant in Europe.

Currently, I run my own business, offering catering and private cooking services. Unfortunately, this is not my proper job…yet!

Which are the dishes that you love cooking the most?

Pasta and fresh tomatoes are ingredients I cannot live without, so I would say my favourite dish to cook is spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and basil!

What do you like most about being a BonAppetour host?

I love being able to meet new people from different parts of the world, which was something that I experienced and enjoyed when I was living in London. Also, I'd love to spare them the experience of being ripped off for a bad meal. Sometimes, this happens here in Rome, and not only to tourists!

What do you feel is the difference between a BonAppetour dining experience, and dining outside in an eatery or restaurant?

It is a completely different experience – one that will satisfy you on an emotional level. This is true for both the hosts and guests.

I feel that in my case, guests will be able to eat something that is not served anywhere else is Rome, and be able to experience an authentic Roman dinner in more ways than one.

Image credits: Recipe Diaries, One Green Planet

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Cassandra: Hosting My First BonAppetour Experience

Cassandra: Hosting My First BonAppetour Experience

Our lovely BonAppetour host, Cassandra, writes about her first experience hosting guests in her home in sunny Singapore! An avid home-chef, with a passion for creating exotic yet authentic dishes, Cassandra is a foodie at heart, and loves to spread the joy of cooking at home by sharing recipes and video tutorials with her friends! 

Thanks for contributing this article, Cassandra! 

Have you ever wished you could dine at some local’s place when you travel?

I always wished I could visit their house and tastes their home cooked food. When I was approached with this concept, I thought it was awesome, except for one thing – I am the host instead of the guest! I felt quite apprehensive about opening up my home to complete strangers who will pay me for their meal. Erm, did I just said I wish I could eat at some strangers’ house?

I was cracking my head. There are wide varieties of cuisines available in Singapore. What type of food is not easily available to foreigners or tourists?

So, I decided to make a Peng Cai. We usually eat this dish during Chinese New Year and strangely, this one-pot wonder is so easy to make but I don’t remember having it on a regular day. You can use many of your favourite ingredients to flavour the dish. I asked my guests for their choice and they chose chicken as the meat ingredient. In my peng cai, there’s prawns, fresh scallops, roast chicken cooked in broth flavoured by wong bok, dried mushrooms & dried scallops. (My recipe is included at the end of this post!)

At around 6.30pm, the guests arrived at my place. They were from Beijing, Italy and Singapore. My hubby helped showed them to their seats while I served the peng cai, as well as some seafood tofu puffs as a side dish. I prepared some sambal belacan as dipping sauce. However, it was a pity that my Italian guest could not tolerate its spiciness.

We had a good chat about their stay in Singapore. It was eating, talking and laughing throughout the dinner. I totally enjoyed hosting this dinner experience with BonAppetour. I am going to Penang early next year, and I heard that ther are BonAppetour hosts in Penang – I really look forward to being a guest at their place!


1 Wong Bok, cut into pieces and separating the stem and leafy parts
4 dried mushrooms, rinsed and soaked
4 dried scallops, rinsed and soaked
8 pcs of fresh scallops, sliced into halves
8 pcs of prawns
2 chicken drumsticks, bones removed
1 pkt golden mushrooms
1 small carrot, cut into flower shape and slice into 5 mm thickness
3 cups chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk spring onion, chopped

6 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp chinese wine
Dashes of pepper


  1. Fry garlic till fragrant.
  2. Add chicken stock and seasoning.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Add the stems of wong bok, follow by leafy parts.
  5. Laid the carrots on top of wong bok.
  6. Bring to boil.
  7. Switch to small fire, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins till wong bok had softened abit.
  8. Set aside some carrots for arrangement.
  9. Arrange the rest of carrots, mushroom and dried scallops around the claypot.
  10. Using a flat plate slightly smaller than the diameter of your clay pot, arrange the rest of ingredients on it. Arrange some carrots around the ingredients.
  11. Use your hand to push the ingredients so that they slide into the clay pot with the arrangement still intact.
  12. Cover and simmer for 10 mins till ingredients are full cooked.
  13. Add spring onions.
  14. Serve in claypot.


  1. I am using a 2.9 litres Tanyu claypot.
  2. The chicken stock looks little to begin with but after simmering, the water content in wong bok will seeped out. You can add more stock after wong bok had softened (if you prefer).
  3. Use small fire and cover with lid while simmering the wong bok. This is to create a “steaming” effect with the small amount of stock in the claypot.
  4. The total cooking time for wong bok to completely softened is about 25 mins. As this dish has to cook in layers to maintain its arrangement, you need to plan what ingredients goes in first or later. 
  5. If radish is added, you can arrange them around the claypot, submerged in broth and cook together with wong bok, dried mushrooms and dried scallops.
  6. If yam and pumpkin are added, you can do without carrots. Arrange them on top of wong bok so that they are steamed instead of cooked in broth. Rearrange them around the claypot before laying the rest of ingredients for the final cooking at the last 10 mins.

Image Credits: six-and-seven, streetfoodwarmsyourheart 

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On Channel News Asia: BonAppetour with Annalisa Burgos

On Channel News Asia: BonAppetour with Annalisa Burgos

We’re chuffed to announce that we have been featured on Channel News Asia!

Recently, BonAppetour enjoyed a hearty dinner with Annalisa Burgos, TV anchor and food reporter for Channel News Asia’s morning show FirstLook Asia. Last Friday, Annalisa and her co-presenter, Timothy Go, explored the concept of food sharing on the show’s “What’s Cooking” segment. 

Discovering Food Sharing

Food sharing is a component of the sharing economy, defined as ‘a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources’. The sharing economy concept also goes by other names, such as peer-to-peer economy, mesh and collaborative consumption. It is rapidly gaining a surge in popularity, not just in travel-related industries (think Airbnb and Couchsurfing), but also in other sectors like transport, as seen from the likes of Uber’s rapid expansion.

Food sharing is proving to be a travel trend quickly rising in popularity among travellers, appealing particularly to those who are keen to meet locals in a new destination, and to discover about a new culture, insights and cuisines from a local’s point of view.

Food Sharing: Host and Traveller Concerns

Dining in people’s homes may not be for everyone, as travellers and hosts may have their concerns about this concept.

From the diner’s perspective, it may be more than a little unsettling to dine with hosts in a foreign land, feasting on cuisine that they may never have heard of. However, the benefits do outweigh the cons, as foodsharing connects travellers with locals who are passionate about food and travel, and who warmly welcome strangers into their homes for a heartwarming dining experience.

The hosts may have aspects that they are concerned about as well – what are their guests like? Will it be a risk to invite strangers into their homes?

Our host, Kirit, addressed this question based on his host experiences, indicating that he and his family were wary in the initial stages of signing on as a host. However, their concerns disappeared after hosting a series of dining experiences, as they realised that there was nothing to worry about.

Annalisa says of her BonAppetour dining experience: “What started out as a meal for strangers turned out to be a meal among friends”.

We cannot agree more, and hope to bring this experience to even more travellers seeking to forge new friendships with the locals in their sojourns abroad.

Many thanks to our hosts, Kirit and Gopi, for the amazing dinner – be sure to check out their splendid dining experience in Singapore!

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