I’ve been a COLLIN’S® member for almost a year and I just learnt something that many customers have yet to know – it has its very own team of award-winning chefs representing Singapore on the world stage!
The Chef Who Overcame Dyslexia To Represent Singapore
Last year, I first got to know Chef Neo Jun Hao, who poured out his thoughts about overcoming dyslexia to represent Singapore in Bordeaux, France. He is one of several chefs who were hired by COLLIN’S® under the Place-and-Train programme with e2i.
At Bordeaux, the experience was a rollercoaster ride of preparations and emotions, and although he didn’t win the first prize, he is grateful for the strong support from all the people who supported him.
For example, he counts his blessings that COLLIN’S® and e2i believed in him and sponsored his training in Hong Kong for a month to prepare for the Jeunes Talent competition in France.
The First Singaporean To Win The Young Talent Escoffier World Culinary Competition
Chef Koh Han Jie, who was the first Singaporean contender to be crowned champion at the 2018 Young Talent Escoffier World Culinary Competition, is only 26 years old, but already has experience at two-Michelin starred Les Amis Singapore, Bread Street Kitchen and three-Michelin starred Maison Pic in Valence.
Now Head Chef of COLLIN’S® under e2i’s Place-and-Train programme, Chef Koh curates the menu for Elfuego, COLLIN’S® newest Halal 80-seater restaurant at Jewel, Changi Airport, which features quality European cuisine created by COLLIN’S® award-winning team of local chefs.
“To curate a menu that can hopefully elevate the dining experience for all the diners, is definitely my biggest inspiration. Recently blessed with the Halal certification, this has opened up more opportunities to share our food with a wider audience. The feedback has been encouraging and we hope to continue improving on our menu and service to satisfy everyone,” he said.
The Student Who Loved Cooking So Much, He Chose F&B Over Mainstream Academics
Chef Syahir Bin Osman joined COLLIN’S® under the Place-and-Train programme last year after graduating from Shatec with two diplomas in culinary skills and pastry-making.
“Being in this company gives us the opportunity to progress. I started out as a cook and three months later I was promoted to a demi-chef. So you can see the progression is there in the (Place-and-Train programme) and the individual can level up. I am thankful to be in this company. I enjoy serving food and seeing the sense of satisfaction connecting with people.
In Secondary School Food & Nutrition classes, I’ll be the one who was overexcited to cook and would prepare a lot of things, so it (my love of cooking) started from there. I’m a graduate of N Level and was supposed to take O levels, but I saw the calling of being in this line, so I took a leap of faith and took up Shatec instead,” he shared.
In Singapore, the majority of COLLIN’S® workforce is Singaporean, with a significant proportion of mature workers.
Since 2014, COLLIN’S® and e2i has embarked on several projects to help over a hundred workers in the areas of productivity, job redesign, placement and training.
Supporting a team of local chefs in training and gaining international exposure is just one of the many ways e2i has impacted local workers in their skills upgrading journey.
To learn more about how e2i helps workers with jobs and skills, visit here.
What do you want to tell others? Find me at jules <at> workersofsingapore (dot) com