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Pandemic opportunities for millennial chefs

How young chefs are charting their own paths in this new normal.

September 4, 2020

A JOBLESS chef couple who's starting a kitchen sharing concept so they don't have to worry about retrenchment. A pastry chef who built a viral bakery business during Circuit Breaker. A private dining chef who sold granola as a last resort and now can't keep up with the demand. A head chef who quit to launch his own line of XO sauce.

Circuit Breaker was a scary time for the local F&B industry and chefs' livelihoods, but for some, the stop gap measures they took to earn money have since led to new business opportunities that they didn't know existed. Especially now, as home-based businesses (HBB) flourish and dining out (and in) becomes the main entertainment for travel-starved Singaporeans. As the appetite for new things to eat grows, so too are young chefs closer to making their dream of running their own business a reality.


Pastry dreams

Chef Ngooi's departure before Vianney Massot Restaurant closed down for good may have been a prescient move for its former head pastry chef. Now, she's at the helm of her online bakery Tigerlily Patisserie, although she's lucky enough to have the backing of her former employers, the Ebb & Flow group, which owned Vianney Massot.

"The most significant advantage of an online shop is that it costs a fraction of a brick-and-mortar business," says Chef Ngooi, adding that Tigerlily was conceptualised and launched within eight weeks. Far from the glamorous Michelin-starred eatery she's used to, Chef Ngooi and her baker operate out of Ebb & Flow's dark kitchen located at its Hong Kong Street premises.

Tigerlily is focused on old school European bakes with her own twist, including a Peranakan-style curry sausage roll, chocolate babka and maple pecan cruffin.


Read the full article on Business Times.