Hi, I am Gwern Khoo. I’m just your average joe on the street, so average that you would probably not notice me when you walked past me. I had been cooking professionally for the past few years in some of the best restaurants in the world. Well, It almost didn’t happen this way.
Gwern Khoo – In Younger Days
Since young, Gwern Khoo had been helping his dad in his small food business, selling chicken and duck rice after school, and during the school holidays. He was young at that time, around fourteen years old, and working for his dad was real hard work. The things he was tasked to do were washing mountains of soiled dishes and serving food to customers.
Gwern Khoo‘s dad was real strict and he resented working for him. Being young and playful, he would find a chance to sneak off to play whenever he could. At that time, although he loved to eat, becoming a chef was the last thing on his mind.
One fine day, his dad came home excited after attending some baking class. Gwern Khoo watched him baked a banana cake. It was good and he liked it.
He wondered, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be good if I can bake my own cakes so I can eat it whenever I want to!’
And so Gwern Khoo’s interest in food began. He enrolled in a baking class. It was fun, and he could take those cute little things he made in class back home to show to his family.
He was hooked.
Gwern Khoo – Journey To Becoming A Chef
He signed up for more advance baking and cooking classes. There the chef-teacher Judy, taught him about the sciences of baking, the why’s and the how’s, and all those fascinating stuffs. It was totally awesome and he loved it. He began to buy cookbooks and started to read up by himself. By year end, he formally signed up for culinary school. His direction in life was fixed.
Gwern Khoo graduated from culinary school some years back right at the top of his cohort with distinctions, sweeping off three awards for being the top student. He was committed to work in the best restaurant so that he could learn from the best. He sent scores of résumés to Michelin-starred restaurantsall over the world asking for an apprenticeship (that is after he had already graduated from my apprenticeship) with little or no pay, even when he was dead-broke at that time. It was the only way to get inside a top restaurant. Eventually, Gwern Khoo was accepted into one of the top fifty ranked restaurant in the world, and his kitchen journey began. Even till today, he still continue to do ‘stages’ (work for free) on his off days in top restaurants to learn and to improve himself.
‘I love cooking and I love to eat. Cooking is my job, but it feels more like play than work to me. Through food, I had found a higher aim in life; to care for people and to make others happy. This website is dedicated to inspire and share with others, my insights on food, and ongoing journey as a chef.’
“I have a dream. Inside that dream, I see my own little place; delicious food, happy people, lots of laughter, in a warm cosy little shop house.”