Palate Sensations teams up with SG Enable to deliver Chef In Training class for PWDs

Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

The human spirit has an amazing ability to triumph over disabilities. 

Indeed, there is no limit to what or who we want to become, and the only failure rests in the failure of one's imagination.

For the first time ever, Palate Sensations opened its studio to persons with disabilities (PWDs) this year. In partnership with SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling PWDs, we ran a 12-day Chef in Training Foundations class with 4 amazing participants in November.

Armed with patience, perseverance, and lots of creativity, our first batch of participants proved that even if one is hard of hearing or speaking, or has lost a limb, anyone can unlock achievements to become a home chef or launch a career in the challenging yet fulfilling world of the food and beverage industry.

The partnership with SG Enable allows PWDs to enrol in Palate Sensations' Chef in Training Class at up to 95% course funding with the rest to be claimed under SkillsFuture Credit if the participant qualifies.

On top of this, course participants on completion are also awarded $460 to enable them to explore business or career options armed with their newly acquired culinary skills.

Chef Lynette Foo, Palate Sensations Culinary School founder, said: "It was extremely rewarding to see the participants successfully go through all the classes we held from food hygiene to dining etiquette to the various cooking and baking classes and end with simulating a restaurant from start to finish including setting up for service, serving, cooking, baking and clearing everything away."

Asked about how the team facilitated the class, Chef Lynette shared that they were hesitant and anxious when they first began the classes.

"We were not sure how well it would be received and whether we could accommodate all the various disabilities we faced."

"However, we realised that when we made certain adjustments to accommodate the various needs and when we saw the enthusiasm of the participants and the trust that they placed in us to deliver the program to them, we knew that we were onto a good thing," she said.

The first batch of participants included those who are hearing impaired. To facilitate learning, Palate Sensations Executive Chef Randall Tailford used a face shield without a mask so that those who can read lips are able to do so.

For those who were not able to read lips or engage in sign language, we sent written notes for all classes ahead of time and also used a computer screen to type basic instructions so they can follow us.  

The participants also had speech to text conversion programs on their phones to aid their understanding.  

"Overall, as much as we could, we were able to accommodate to everyone’s needs." 

The participants were engaged all throughout the 12-day class. 

Cheryl Ang Sia Si said that what she really loved about Palate Sensations was Chef Randall being thorough in teaching the class. With smiles, she shared, "He always makes me laugh and is always helpful towards me."

Serena Ling said that she learnt a lot and had great fun. "Great teachers and excellent food and facilities!", she shared.

And as they also feast over the food they prepared at the last day, Sim Tharn Chun said this was the most memorable part of the experience for him. "Eating the food that I cooked, instructor's friendliness and willingness to help and guide," are among the things he won't  forget. "Though I have profound hearing loss, I was still able to follow through the cooking instructions n successfully completed the course! Thanks to the chefs/trainers’ attentive patience," he said.

"For the final class, they each invited a guest to dine in and all of them had a lot of fun and learnt something in the process.  To hand them their certificates of completion, all the chefs felt a sense of accomplishment in seeing how well the participants had done. It was with tears in our eyes that we said our goodbyes to them and wished them well for their future," Chef Lynette said.

 

If you are a person with a disability, then this is an opportunity not to be missed. Be trained by Singapore's top chefs without costing you -- 95% of course fee is fully funded by SG Enable. Get $460 upon completion of the course.

If you know a PWD, then please share this news to them. Our next intake is on 4th January.

We are looking forward to welcoming participants at the studio and to becoming part of your journey.

Write to us at info@palatesensations.com to book a class.


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