Monthly Archives: March 2009

A Little Nudge “online” from CIAML

It is 1am in Singapore.

As usual, I was maximizing my time after work (even if I “work” for free, it is still considered work right?) reading and surfing… before I turn in around 2.  I aim for a solid 4 hour sleep minimum each day so that I wake up fresh, or at least with enough energy to start the day with a smile.  It is a daily pre-requisite.

…  then I typed “ciaml.com”, and I was redirected to www.culinaryinstitute.edu … I clicked on “Listen To What Our Students Have To Say”  …  I guess I was just taking a mental break and was surfing aimlessly.

I saw my face … Gasp!  A picture I took with Mr LeNotre when I was in level 1, apparently it was a privilege for foreign students.  I guess it was a bonus for us since we flew into Houston from wherever we came from to attend classes and live in Houston ~ a sure sign of committment and faith … I remembered it was the day before Singapore National Day.  That is the pix was taken on 8 August 2008.

 Then I read the words … I remembered those were the words I wrote to Mr LeNotre before I left for Singapore.  It was a timely reminder I read it now, it was a little nudge for me to be focus, a reason to keep to the vision I set … amongst the distractions in my daily life and the tired mind at the end of each day.

I Read… (My Note to Mr LeNotre)

Dearest Chef, Dearest Sir,  

I want you to know I enjoyed myself at the Culinary Institute leNotre. The past 20 weeks have come and gone. I am gonna miss you, miss the Chefs I have come to know, miss the niceness I have been generously showered with. All these I am taking home to Singapore, They are not just memories but inspirations to my life, and like you said “…inspired by people who were inspired by people who were inspired by people…”, and I will in turn inspire others at the right time, one day.

You have touched my life, really!

Thank you

Wishing you good health, good luck, good life & every goodness you deserve! 

December 1st, 2008

(Joycelyn Sim, Singapore)

***

” … I will in turn inspire others at the right time, one day.”

I read the line again and again … in my little ways each day, I share positively with the young ones (coz more than 90% of the pastry team is younger than me) without sounding too unrealistic and appearing too optmistic, I make it a habit to smile and share my joyous self and it comes naturally each day (and it is certainly well practised)…

But this line reminded me I want to make an impact to other people’s lives, a massive impact to be exact.  Now it is a Big Dream … at least I have to keep working on the BIG Dream… put in the thoughts and action steps, perservere, purposefully work on it, believe in it … and keep my vision alive, …

So that I inch forward toward The Right Time, One Day.

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The Intent Is Still Strong …

This is just a quick note that my blog is still active.  Or at least the intent is there. 

My last post since 6 January fronted my blog for the longest time, and each time I logged on, the intent was to update my journal, but alas both the mind and the body were weak and I either chose to continue my read or do some site surfing instead… I was tired after a day in the pastry kitchen … was it my excuse or my reason?  Ha.  Once upon a time, I was aching all over and my legs were puffy, now every task seemed easier and more focused.

I have been with a pastry kitchen for the last 3 months, and this stint shall end on 27 March, next Friday.  I chose the day because it was the last Friday of the month.  Whatz next?  Many asked.  I will be going to Osaka from 1-12 April, hopefully to return a greater inspired soul.  BK will be there for a conference, and he asked if I want to tag along.  Japan … of course.  It remains my annual pilgrimage since 2000, and I made at least 1 trip each year.. oh no, not 2008, I was in Houston for half a year.  I used my last balance of mileage rewards since my regional travelling days (2005-2008) to confirm a return ticket.  This is going to be a patisserie cum boulangerie hopping trip, more than that, I need inspiration and ideas on what’s next for me.  I remain free spirited, happily so.  Then whatz next?  I know when I am ready.  It certainly makes me feel better psychologically than if I say I don’t know.

I have lots to update about the pastry kitchen.  Chef K often asked me, “Are you ok?”  Always, Chef, I am always ok.  Chef commented I am always happy and smiling …  Indeed, after 3 months, I remain so.  Full of energy each time I don my uniform and enter the kitchen.  I share a trusted relationship with the team I worked with, and I realised the results were almost always up to me to create.  I choose to start well, I will also end off well.  There was one particular morning, Yes! only that once…  I felt tired, then I realized I was dragging my heavy feet, that very moment, I caught myself and I sprinted up the steps, and I forced a smile before I stepped into the kitchen, and the rest was history, I had a great day.  I remembered a co-worker commented, You are always so happy and energetic… I admitted I did not start that day that way but I forced it and everything else went to the back of my mind when I was in the kitchen.

Till today, many were still puzzled why I left my last job which easily paid double what a pastry chef in Singapore would get … more wondered why I bother to work without a pay and yet still so committed.  The few I shared with may not fully comprehend when I shared with them ~ I decided from that moment on I live a life with no complaints and no excuses!  I practise feeling and being so each day.  Not perfect, and still getting better.

I choose My Life.  I appreciate what I have, and I choose to be happy right now!  Indeed.

Regarding the training stint with the hotel, I appreciate that Chef K trusted me enough to accept me into the kitchen, the team trusted me enough that I worked solo in production at the work space allocated to the EQX team while they  set up the buffet and high-tea, and some trusted me enough to share with me their hopes and dreams and frustration in their current roles.  I believe I earn this trust.

I have lots to update in this journal for myself as I move forward in my life, the journey and my fulfilled experience at Hotel F.  I learnt a lot and still do, I have 2 notebooks filled with recipes and notes, as the Chef Kris and Chef Philippe always advised … take notes.  

Yesterday, Chef K returned to the kitchen after a week in Japan, he was there to judge a pastry competition.  I informed him officially that my last day with the kitchen is next Friday.  He said “I would like to employ you, but I can’t at this point…”, there is a recruitment freeze, officially or unofficially, facing the hospitality industry (rather, the market in general) due to the economic situation.  I was happy I have a choice, I said “It is ok, Chef.  I don’t want to be employed.”  This is definitely NOT a sign of arrogance from me, rather I have not decided what I would venture in next and I made a decision last June to leave employment to venture beyond the pharmaceutical field familiar to me, I am not about to give it up so soon.

Till I consolidate my pix and my notes of my volountary attachment for the last 3 months.