Welbilt Rising Female Chef of the Year Plans to Dominate!
Welbilt has always been a big supporter of women in F&B, with a focus on pushing forth and giving opportunities to new and upcoming chefs in the industry. It’s one of the reasons why they are the 4-time sponsor of the Welbilt Rising Female Chef of the Year 2022, after all.
This year, the award went to Chef Nadine Tay of Habibisan, a Sous Chef who started her career in the culinary industry in 2010, and has seen her star rise since. Having a passion for the culinary arts, Chef Tay has always given her all when it comes to her work, stating that, “Doing something I love daily doesn’t feel like work at all.”
A graduate of At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, Chef Tay has been working hard at her choice of career since then, starting from Line Cook at Wild Honey, Demi-Chef De Partie at Cocotte and Wolf, before becoming Junior Sous Chef at The Provision Shop and then Sous Chef at Artichoke and then Habibi-san.
In her career of over ten years, Chef Tay has worked alongside several talented chefs, all of who have taken the opportunity to impart their knowledge and skills to her as well. “The chefs I met along the way moulded me into the kind of chef I am today, & am still learning. I honestly wouldn’t be the chef I aspire to be without the guidance of the very talented chefs I’ve had the honour of working with if not for their mentorship,” says Chef Tay in an email interview with Cuisine and Wine Asia.
But how did she even get started in the culinary arts in the first place? "I’ve always been interested in cooking from young,” Chef Tay explains. "My mother would send me to community cooking classes at the age of 9. But it all started with me being a part-time service staff at a restaurant called District 10 about 14years ago.”
At the time, Chef Tay had just finished her exams & wanted to earn some cash, but the work at District 10 had her curious about the work the chefs did during the dinner service, being, ‘very drawn to the kitchen.’ “It was only after a few months when I plucked duo the courage to ask the head chef then if I could try one shift in the kitchen, expecting him to say no,” she writes. To Chef Tay’s surprise, he readily agreed for her to help in the kitchen for a day. What followed was what Chef Tay called, ‘the best day of my life. “I had so much fun just helping with the little things like learning how to make choux puff, tiramisu etc. That was when I realized the kitchen is where I wanted to be!” she concludes. Soon after, she enrolled at culinary school and the rest was history.
Winning the Welbilt Rising Chef of the Year (Female) award was something she says is indicative that she is on the right path. “Winning this award is truly an honour & achievement!” she writes, “I hope to be able to cross paths with the many other talented chefs out there as I always believe there’s always something new to learn in this industry. That, to me, is what’s so exciting about being a chef!”
With winning the award, Chef Tay sees it as a form of encouragement to do better. “I definitely have more to improve on, “she says, humbly. “I hope to be able to collaborate with other chefs & learn from them.” It’s one of the things she hopes would happen in the future now that she's won the award. “I want to continue working towards the role of heading a kitchen team, & collaborate with other chefs " says Chef Tay. It’s the mark of a chef who is only just beginning in her career, and a sign that things can only get better from here on.