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Apprenticeship in Singapore?? / Top Restuarants, Hotels

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ReadWill
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Apprenticeship in Singapore?? / Top Restuarants, Hotels

Postby ReadWill » Fri, 28 Jan 2011 11:38 am

Hey my friends!

My name is Spencer and im a 21 year old male from British Columbia, Canada. My best buddy in the world is currently living and working in Singapore as a tennis coach and player(davis cup). I miss him, so I plan on joining him come September 2011, but what I am looking for here is a little help from anyone who can spare it. I am currently a 2nd year apprentice as a Cook in Canada, meaning I have attended culinary school and now need to collect hours/experience for my final Red Seal test.

I was hoping someone could direct me in the right direction to find position as an apprentice under one of Singapore's premiere chefs pr kitchens. I am willing to work at a low wage/no wage or for any sort of small payment, it is just about learning and practice for me. I am saving all my money currently for beer and maybe a surf trip to indo. I will be living in the Telok Blangah area but i suppose transportation really doesnt matter. My main goals are to meet Susur Lee to and maybe find a special girl. I speak english and know about 5 words in malay

I hope 2011 is awesome for you all and I did not come off as a wanker.

Love from the north


Spencer

here is a video i made for my friends about cookin in canada;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ptWpIm_bzA
woot

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 28 Jan 2011 1:56 pm

You ought to have a great time here, especially when your local Chinese employers see how you diss them in your film clip on how to NOT use a knife. :-|

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 28 Jan 2011 5:01 pm

Impressions:

1) From your knife techniques you clearly have been to chef school, and aren't some random loony.
2) I think there would be benefit in getting to the point faster with less flapping around of the arms (like a gangsta)
3) Unfortunately the sound quality was so poor I couldn't handle more than about 3 minutes.

Good luck none the less!

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Postby ReadWill » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 10:07 am

thank jr8 for comments, tho i guess i shouldnt of posted the video, i was hoping someone might be able to help me here with connections, either way that video was just for fun.

@ sunday I have many Chinese friends and i diss them all the time, all i was saying that the straight up and down chop is hard on your edge, which is fine when your cutting celery with a clever. sorry if that comment offended you tho.
woot

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Postby poodlek » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 11:18 am

ReadWill wrote:thank jr8 for comments, tho i guess i shouldnt of posted the video, i was hoping someone might be able to help me here with connections, either way that video was just for fun.

@ sunday I have many Chinese friends and i diss them all the time, all i was saying that the straight up and down chop is hard on your edge, which is fine when your cutting celery with a clever. sorry if that comment offended you tho.


I think SMS's point was the Chinese here have less of a sense of humour about those things than the Chinese back home. Especially when they are your employer as opposed to your buddy. I doubt SMS is offended, he isn't Chinese, he's just pointing out where you might run into trouble.

I'm sorry I can't offer you help here, you may have a better time with contacting Susur Lee's people directly (you know he has a couple restaurants here, right?) than trying to get in through the Singapore "scene" as there doesn't seem to be much of one here, and if it's all run by Chinese (it may well be) you may be SOL breaking into it. Getting work here as an expat from the developed world is much harder than you might think, unless you're packing an MBA or better qualification. If you don't get anywhere with Susur Lee, you can use the www.hungrygowhere.com website to find some other fine dining type establishments. The ones with the European cuisine are often run by Europeans. There's a dude named Wolfgang who runs Brasserie Wolf and 3 or 4 others that may be interested in you. Look him up.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 8:53 pm

ReadWill wrote:thank jr8 for comments, tho i guess i shouldnt of posted the video, i was hoping someone might be able to help me here with connections, either way that video was just for fun.

@ sunday I have many Chinese friends and i diss them all the time, all i was saying that the straight up and down chop is hard on your edge, which is fine when your cutting celery with a clever. sorry if that comment offended you tho.


This is the only 'real' chef school that I know of in SG...
http://www.at-sunrice.com/default.aspx
... they may provide avenues/connections in, though perhaps only if you are a student of theirs (?). Be warned that their courses are damned expensive compared to say even the top schools in NYC. As an alt could you try joining networking sites like 'Linked in'?
I think the hurdle for you is differentiating your skills versus the others, i.e. what have you got that the locals haven't? Are you going to be happy earning local pay, or do you merit a premium? etc.
p.s. didn't see the vid remark re: chopping, but you're right. My SGn wife uses my Wusthof and Henkel knives like machetes! Not great on our side-grain beech chopping board (reminds me it is time to get a decent one...) :roll:

p.s. Interested to see that you steel your knives 'away'. I'd never known anything other than steeling towards you, until I went to a Knife Skills primer at ICE in NYC where everyone looked at me as if I was some kind of pyscho...

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 5:35 pm

I have been to Chinois by Susur Lee a couple of times. The food is pretty good with an open kitchan.

For your information, Susur is never around in Singapore. I believe he is only here for a few days during the initial setup.

I also asked if Daniel Boulud visited DB in Singapore. The receptionist said he only visited once, for 1 day. I met the chef in Paris who is coming to Singapore to set up La-Atelier and similarly, Joel won't be actively involved in the set up of the restaurants in Singapore.

If your interest lies in Chinese cuisine, there are many good Chinese restaurants in Singapore. If you are interested in molecular cuisine, Iggy's is the most well-known one in Singapore.

Do note that there isn't many chefs in Singapore who graduated in a real culinary school like you. Many of them are self-taught/work from the bottom to become a chef.

I would suggest for you to check out both the casino's website regularly as they often post vacancy for sous chef positions. You can try your luck there! Don't sell yourself short by offering to work at minimum wage/without pay. You will end up washing dishes, and I am sure that is not what you want.

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Postby ksl » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 2:18 pm

Intern position is a minimum 450 a month plus food & accommodation recommended by MOM for Interns, so go for it! Food 10$ a day is minimum

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Postby ReadWill » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:46 pm

hey poodlek, thanks for words about susur, i figured he wouldnt actually be chef'in but I still really want to meet him, I hope the chinese find it in there hearts to let a white boy work for them, i do good work. ill bring all the luck i can find to.

JR8, I will check out that school, maybe i can hired there to help out or teach what i know, i love teaching people. I really dont think I merit a premium, even if I wanted a full chef posistion i would charge low fair prices and have the happiest restuarant in the city, no bullshit, i really just want to learn and listen, tho i tend to talk. As for my truing or steel technique, I do it that way because I just tend to see my angle slighty better, and get a better feel, i really try to less moves, but really stick the edge and run it. I suppose my style is slighty more dangerous, but i try to be safe and aware, thats sweet you went to nyc for a knife skill contest, i bet there were some legends there. pardon my grammer to.

Girl_Next_Door, first off nice name ha. I have a huge interest in chinese cuisines, has to be one of the most epic food historys ever, well it is i guess. Someone who taught themselve probably could teach me tons, i really dont know all that much, basics and knowledge from my own passion, i have read text books and many cook books, i will defs check the casino out, and dont worry i wont sell my self short, im 6'3 so i have some height and i wash dishes like a pro lol

ksl, whats up, I do no understand your message, but thank you for your response

thank you everyone for your words and advice, i read it all and will explore all these leads. hope i even get to meet you one day! enjoy the sun to, its rainy and cold up here blahhhhhhhhh
woot

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Postby poodlek » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 1:23 pm

ReadWill wrote:hey poodlek, thanks for words about susur, i figured he wouldnt actually be chef'in but I still really want to meet him, I hope the chinese find it in there hearts to let a white boy work for them, i do good work. ill bring all the luck i can find to.


I figured you knew how he works...anyway of course he isn't the chef at every restaurant he owns as there must be dozens of them worldwide. I was at Chinois two weeks ago and I asked about him and the staff said he does show up a couple times a year, and they were expecting a visit from him soon. It's a nice place...the first of his I've been into, despite growing up in Toronto and having plenty of opportunity to eat at the few he has there. I understand he consults at the Ritz-Carleton too, so there are a couple reasons for him to visit SG. If you REALLY wanted to meet him you should probably move to TO though ;-)

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Postby ReadWill » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 3:12 pm

thats worse case ontario for me
woot

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Postby poodlek » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 3:17 pm

ReadWill wrote:thats worse case ontario for me

Don't knock it til you've tried it :-P
You'll never convince me of Toronto's inferiority :lol:

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 4:30 pm

ReadWill wrote:JR8, I will check out that school, maybe i can hired there to help out or teach what i know, i love teaching people. I really dont think I merit a premium, even if I wanted a full chef posistion i would charge low fair prices and have the happiest restuarant in the city, no bullshit, i really just want to learn and listen, tho i tend to talk. As for my truing or steel technique, I do it that way because I just tend to see my angle slighty better, and get a better feel, i really try to less moves, but really stick the edge and run it. I suppose my style is slighty more dangerous, but i try to be safe and aware, thats sweet you went to nyc for a knife skill contest, i bet there were some legends there. pardon my grammer to.


The school has just moved from a colonial 'mansion' at Fort Canning to a new place in Hougang which is rather a shame for the more centrally located. I'll give the 'away' technique a go as I see you may have a point on being better able to see the angle.

p.s. For the record I wasn't in a knife skills contest. I did a couple of months of recreational courses at ICE and before they let any students into the kitchens you had to complete the knife skills pt.1 course

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 25 Feb 2011 6:06 am

For the record, I have been trying steeling or trueing away with my knives for the last few weeks. I am very impressed. I can keep my thumb on the back of the blade to set the angle and then carry it through on the stroke. It feels very precise and controlled.

It doesn't quite come naturally yet, but no surprise after the instinct of steeling inwards. The knives are coming out like damned razors though!

Very impressed 8-)


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