|For r y e's inaugural series ‘In Conversation’, a collection of stories where we pick the minds of our favourite tastemakers and creatives, we delve into the minds of chef Christina Rasmussen and mixologist Sasha Wijidessa. Together they birthed Fura—a revolutionary bar where sustainability and innovation intertwine to create ‘Future Foods’—an extraordinary gastronomic experience that challenges the status quo.
Sasha's rise through renowned establishments like Operation Dagger propelled her to redefine mixology's art as the APAC Commercial Director of Empirical and Fura's co-founder. Christina, a visionary culinarian and master forager with a transformative journey from Noma to Ark Collection, brings a profound understanding of nature's ingredients to Fura's mission. Their collaborative genius, fitting together like the final pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, breathes life into Fura, a personal and purposeful venture shaping a new culinary landscape.
They tell us about the origins of their journey, their current favourites, their most coveted kitchen must-haves, tips for starting your culinary adventure at home and more.
what inspired the creation of Fura and why is sustainability a crucial aspect of your culinary philosophy?
C: For us, Fura is really personal. It mirrors what we talk about and do at home—conversations about global issues and the changes we and society need. Fura is our way into that world, starting with our first pop-up, Mallow, which was a bit broader at first. By chatting with guests, joining panel talks, and travelling, we turned Mallow into Fura. The choice to move from just plant-based to ‘future foods’ comes from knowing that making big changes needs a more practical way. Expecting everyone to go fully plant-based might be too much, but making smaller changes in our diets seems doable and makes more sense for the planet. Also, Sasha and I were tired of places just saying they're eco-friendly without really doing much. We wanted Fura to be much more than that—always thinking about our impact. It goes beyond just recycling; we're into reducing waste and creating a sustainable lifestyle that's not just about convenience.
Christina (left) wears the knitted long vest in olive paired with the exposed seam wide-legged trousers in bone
Sasha (left) wears the long sleeve polo shirt in black with the eyelet lace panelled berms in black
as chefs, what are your top three must-have items in your kitchen at home that you couldn't imagine living without?
C: Oven (I refuse to own or use a microwave), microplane (who has the time to chop garlic and ginger?) and espresso machine (we have so many coffee friends).
S: For me, it's our pressure cooker (broth is life), rice cooker (rice is also life) and espresso machine.
what sparked your culinary journey, and who or what inspired you to pursue this path?
C: Spending time at my grandmother’s villa in the South of France shaped my connection to nature and my journey as a chef. A tough-love Swede she is, but she let me into her kitchen, where I managed to learn a lot—like crafting classic French and Swedish dishes, all with fresh produce from open markets and herbs from her garden in the back. To paint a picture, the villa is set back on a painfully unpaved winding road through a mountainside. The pleasant isolation from the outside world allows you to be present and grateful, connected yet disconnected from what matters most.
what's the experience like working alongside your partner? how does the unique dynamic between you two contribute to shaping Fura?
C: We love working with each other. We joke that it’s a severe codependency that might not be great later on, but I just love spending time with Sasha. Our creative process is like fitting in the final puzzle pieces – we both share a lot of the same palate, which lets us help each other out when one needs a nudge to finish an idea. Although we've had different jobs over the years, our shared values and work ethic mean we respect how each other works, knowing every decision is for the good of our company. It also helps that we try to keep work and personal life separate, and we've always agreed that, if it ever comes down to it, we'll choose each other over anything else. Our experiences together always inspire our work, like last year's foraging in Northern Goa, where we enjoyed coconut rice in moon leaves, took a dip in a waterfall, saw peacocks in the jungle, and explored terrains to learn about local and wild herbs.
Christina (left) wears the long sleeve tassel shirt in khaki green paired with the brocade tailored berms in khaki green
Sasha (right) wears the classic muscle tee in burnt orange paired with the tulip skirt with belt buckle in white
anything you're both currently in love with? it could be a book, a show, restaurant, or anything else that's captured your attention.
C: I know Sasha loves this new book she’s reading called “The Sixth Extinction” but I'm not exactly sure what it's about…
cooking can be messy. what do you typically wear daily and how do fabric, shape, colour, pattern, and fit influence your choices in both the kitchen and you personal style?
C: I've always been into fashion, and my style has evolved significantly over the years. Living in Copenhagen, in particular, has taught me the confidence that comes from standing out in a sea of muted minimalism. I've discovered that I thrive on colour, texture, and patterns—loving the attention when my cool clothes break the norm. Being tall also allows me to experiment more. However, since moving to Singapore, finding my style identity in the tropics has taken some time due to the temperature.
share a favourite holiday memory that holds a special place in your heart. how do you plan to spend the holidays this year, and more importantly, what dishes are you looking forward to enjoying?
C: Usually, we fly to my parents for Christmas, spending weeks there. Unfortunately, due to Fura's delayed opening, it's not possible this year. Many dishes on Fura's menu originated from my home recipes, as I'm vegan. We typically enjoy a classic Jul frokost with Danish dishes, but we're not fixated on specific foods—it's more about the time together. We usually hit the beach, do Christmas shopping, wrap presents, bake a ton of Christmas cookies from recipes passed down through the family, play games, visit our horses, and go sailing.
Christina wears the long sleeve polo shirt in taupe with the straight-leg crinkled trousers in taupe, holding the r y e bouquet bag
ingredients are at the heart of your creations. is there a specific ingredient with sentimental value for you, and why?
C: I love pine; we have a lot of it in our freezer. When we moved in the winter, I asked friends to pick pine shoots in spring and freeze them for our visit later that year, so we could bring them to Singapore. Pine takes me back to peaceful days foraging in the forest when it's fresh and crisp—the routine of parking, grabbing my clippers and finding the path to some Douglas fir off the beaten track.
what are some tips you recommend for individuals in Singapore who aspire to cook more frequently at home? any suggestions for cooking more sustainably?
C: Start with a book that inspires you - make sure you are excited about the cuisine or flavours. Make a plan for the week. I think a big problem in Singapore is that people see cooking as expensive and inconvenient, which is why everyone eats out. When you go to the store with a precise list, you’re more likely to stick to it and not overspend, making you more efficient by reducing waste. Always start with more basic techniques and styles to build your toolbox. If you overcommit, then you’re more likely to get frustrated and stop this new routine. For cooking more sustainably, definitely lean towards vegetarian cooking. Try reducing your meat intake to maybe only once a week and go from there.
it's almost 2024. what are your big wishes and future aspirations for Fura and yourselves as chefs and entrepreneurs?
S: We are excited to make plans for next year's events and collaborations. There's also a bit more travel on the horizon for us. However, what we are most excited about is the idea of stability, consistency and staying busy. It's in these moments that we can nurture our team, foster growth, and dive into the next exciting phases of Fura.
Sasha wears the eyelet lace panelled shirt dress in white
Photography Kah Ying
Creative Direction & Styling Daryll Alexius Yeo
Hair & Makeup Hongling Lim
Interviewed by Shenali Wijesinghe