In his teenage years, Ben used to knock pins down alongside his friend and bowling champion Remy Ong in the national team before hefty expenses forced him to reconsider his future.
He eventually ventured into the highly competitive F&B scene, opening a zi char (煮炒) stall with a friend in a neighbourhood coffeeshop. The decision was not the most conventional for a young man at that time, though he stops short of calling himself an entrepreneur.
He learned to whip up “basic dishes” like Fish Head Bee Hoon, Carrot Cake and Char Kway Teow while in the kitchen. For over two years, he earned a decent five-figure sum every month, but at the expense of his health and social life. “You only sleep because you have to wake up the next day to start work again,” he says, recalling the hectic 16-hour days in the kitchen.
When rental costs started skyrocketing, he called it quits and embarked on his sales career with mobile phones, banking and then to food catering before finding his way to Suntec. Switching his chef’s hat for the suit and tie never troubled the street-smart Ben who is highly proficient in Hokkien and Cantonese – a rarity to come by these days.
His knowledge of the food industry, like food supply and costing, continues to stand him in good stead when advising clients on our award-winning culinary offerings. Here for slightly over a year now, Ben hopes to continue learning more about the evolving MICE industry.
Maybe doing a stint in our kitchen will fire him up again, just like old times!
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