2021 A year in review.. through uncertainty comes gratitude, fortitude and resilience..

I just read what I wrote in 2020. Looking back, Brene Brown summed up how we approached 2020 “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Show up we certainly did! So much so that we swept into 2021 with a bang and hung on for dear life through the seemingly endless government announcements and changes.

On a personal front, it’s been a turbulent year tinged with sadness but also hope and determination. I lost 3 of my cats to old age and I celebrated my big five o! I was also lucky enough to find a window of opportunity to return to Sydney to see my family when it was quarantine free on both sides of the border.

My three cats. Forever loved.

Celebrating my 50th with my family in Sydney.

Since the pandemic began, I made my personal wellness a top priority. I was very focussed and disciplined and I doubled up my efforts in this area by sleeping at a consistent time each day, exercising at least 6 days a week and keeping a balanced diet. Now two years later, I am 7kg lighter and I managed to shave off 10 minutes off my Standard Chartered 10km race time this past weekend. I believe that with focus and a hell of a lot of determination, we can achieve anything we dream of. With focus brings clarity and with clarity, we are able to stay calm and make positive informed decisions for our future. I applied this philosophy to Palate Sensations too.

Early morning cycling.

Soaking up the morning's energy and positivity to spread to my team and students.

In 2021, we had some staff changes. We said goodbye to our Middle Eastern Chef Hana who returned to The Netherlands and to our Pastry Chef Al who returned to The Philippines. We welcomed Chef Hala who replaced Chef Hana, Chef Cynthia who replaced Chef Al, Tina, our super efficient Operations Manager who replaced Calista as she left to teach ITE culinary students, and last but not least, Dave, our Philippines based virtual assistant who mans our chat line, takes care of all our social media posts, puts together our videos and sends you your thank you emails.

Our new addition this 2021, from left: Chef Hala, Chef Cynthia, Tina our operations manager, and Dave our VA.

As we seek to co-exist with COVID and bring about some normalcy to our lives, we are so thankful that our classes continued to fill up throughout 2021. As our corporate clients still had constraints regarding physical team building, we conducted many online classes for them. Even with VTL travel lanes set up, uncertainty and the cost of testing requirements meant many families were not prepared to travel. This resulted in fully subscribed kids bootcamps and parent and child classes throughout the year. As always, our signature Chef in Training classes had a very strong take-up rate as people continued to invest in themselves.

Kids rock in the kitchen!

This kid is so intense!

During the year, we realised that people craved fun activities so we launched Frisky Palate, our retail shop which included friends and family-oriented baking and cooking kits you can easily follow at home. We also added a slew of lifestyle-related classes such as dining etiquette, growing your own microgreens with Urban Sproutz, TCM with TCM Physician Lam Man Sze, photography and creative styling with Luke Elijah and art & scones with Painter Gee Michaud.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our sponsor Brandt for continuing to keep all our stoves in tip-top condition and for all the wonderful gifts they gave us to pass onto some of you lucky winners.

This contest is still on, enter via our Facebook page to win this Brandt wine chiller!

I want to thank our core chef & operations team, all our guest chefs, our amazing Marketing Consultant Ping, our ever patient Accountant Zi Yang and our wonderful virtual assistant Dave for remaining so professional, for rolling with the punches, for being so understanding and putting in the extra hours when needed.

Last but not least, we could never have survived without our participants.. the reason why we get up to do what we do every single day. Thank you for believing in us, for standing by us and for supporting us even as we had to make adjustments with each government policy change and decrease our class sizes and remove dining options when necessary.

Teaching a private class. The Chef at work!

In 2020, we adapted, In 2021, we co-existed. It is a year where we remained grateful, counted all our blessings and dug in with fortitude and resilience and took everything in our stride, taking one step at a time. “Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path, and you will find you have crossed the mountain.”—Author Unknown.

In 2022, we will bounce back higher..onwards and upwards! As Friedrich Nietzsche says so eloquently: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” 2022 will focus on wellness and well being while we continue to help you build skills and techniques necessary for you to be a better cook and baker. We are looking forward to the launch of Chef Alma’s 3 day workshop on movement and food throughout the year. Watch out for them and join us!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

With hope, excitement and anticipation for better days ahead,


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