This is not a position Ng would even have dreamt of as a schoolboy baking apple pies who once burnt his fried rice during home economics class at Temasek Secondary School. Now 33, Ng is grateful for the opportunities he has been given over the years – as a student at the Singapore Hotel And Tourism Education Centre (Shatec) and the Culinary Institute of America as well as an intern at Pan Pacific Singapore – to get this far.
Ng first got an internship at Momofuku Ko – he showed up at the bar on a Saturday afternoon, after sending out 20 emails – with his knives and chef’s coat to ask for a trial. “Even if I was rejected, at least I’d know immediately,” he recalled. He passed the trial and started his internship the following week. From there, he worked his way to reach commis chef position at Ko in 2013, where he was in charge of receiving stocks, cleaning the produce and making meals for the restaurant crew.
“At Ssäm, we really encourage and celebrate diversity, because that’s very important to our creative process. As Singaporeans, we’ve been exposed to so many cultures, not only Southeast Asian, but French, Ja