“Three years ago, I started a hawker stall with my friend. We worked 15 hours a day and even opened another stall within the year. But we were over-worked and we soon burned out. I turned to drinking as a form of stress relief and eventually became an alcoholic. I raked up a huge debt and resorted to becoming an “ah long’s runner”. Within 20 hours of my first job, I got caught.
Two months before my release from prison, I heard about HCSA Academy. Even though I had prior experience in F&B – being a hawker before, I wanted to further my knowledge, sharpen my skills and build on my foundations. I really enjoyed every moment of the course, both the ups and downs. But the moment that I’ll always remember will be my graduation day because I was presented the “Best Trainee” Award! It meant a lot that I was to make my mom happy and proud once again, especially after many rebellious years.
I’m thankful for all the support I’ve received from my mom, my closest friends, the chefs and the ever-ready Ma’am Norie (Academy’s Administrator) – they are the people behind my achievement of the “Best Trainee” award.
While I may have had some culinary experience before, I think that this culinary course is suitable for anyone as it really builds your confidence and gives you a strong foundation in cooking in a restaurant or hotel. For myself, I went back to my hawker store where I am now using all the new skills I learnt to improve on my recipes! One day, I hope to open a social enterprise café that specialises in great coffee and Western-Indonesian fusion food.”
Testimony by Wayne, Graduate of HCSA Academy