From the Classroom to the Kitchen

A dozen lecturers from the Diplomas in Integrated Facility Management (IFM) together with colleagues from the Diploma in Green Building & Sustainability (GBS), embarked on a culinary learning journey on 21 Aug 2014, whipping up stir fried kailan with mushrooms, mee goreng, and lemon chicken. One of them, Ms Wiliana Sulistio, blogs about it.

The writer (3rd from right) with fellow IFM and GBS colleagues

Very often during lunch time, the smell of oven-toasted sandwiches, micro-waved pizzas and simmering cup noodles wafts through our staff room. Obviously, our staff like to whip up their own lunches, rather than have a crack at in the canteen. (Blame it on the long queues in the canteen too!) 

So one day, a group of us lecturers came up with this crazy idea of enrolling in a cooking class, and we cajoled as many of our colleagues to join in. We signed up for this “Asian Cooking Class (Cook & Dine)”, conducted by Palate Sensations cooking school located in the Biopolis. The session cost $120 per pax, (which was paid for with our TP Staff Development Fund – thank you!).

It was designed to foster co-operation and communication, while allowing participants to exercise their planning, teamwork and leadership skills, with the objective of enhancing their personal development and positive motivation, as well as build confidence. It is hoped that these attributes would ultimately be transferable from a culinary environment to the participants’ own actual work environment, thus resulting in improved working relationships. 

Of course, if we could debunk, in the process, the gender stereotype that males can’t cook, all the better! Lol. 

But alas, our male colleagues failed to rise to the occasion (oh no!).  Most of them had not done it (or attempted to do it) in years!  

Everyone tried very hard, from peeling and chopping garlic and de-skinning a chicken, to fishing kailan pieces from a boiling pot. There was also a lot of discussion (aka “noise”) among all of us, as we scrambled back and forth, deliberating what to do next.  

Communication is definitely one key ingredient for success – which we found out the hard way. 

One of us jumped the gun and added salt into the mee goreng sauce.  Following the cooking instructions, the person at the wok then added a second dose of salt while stir frying it. The result? A very stimulating mee goreng indeed! 

So whoever said that Engineers can’t cook?

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