FOOD FOR THOUGHT | A Good Cause
An extension of 8Q, Singapore Art Museum, this delightful little food haunt is all the rage with the youth of today. Enticing its customers with scrumptious European cuisine and a contemporary ambience, Food for Thought is a new-age concept aiming to cater to both its patrons and also, to a good cause.
Food for Thought was created by born and bred Singaporean David Heng, who studied at the prestigious culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. Under the guidance of his mentor, Chef de Cuisine Julien Bompard, he cultivated a deep passion and love for cooking, leading up to his decision to create his very own chain of restaurants. He aspires to serve every customer with sincerity, as well as show them his appreciation for the blessing of good food for a good cause.
So what makes Food for Thought so different from any other diner?
ActuallyMAG spoke to David about the aspirations and motivations behind Food for Thought as well as his work with the Food for Thought chain.
How did Food For Thought come about?
David: When School of Thought (the tuition group) started at North Bridge in 04, the building had a vacant space on the first floor. The partners wanted to utilize the space in a creative way and thought of starting a café, not just for the food or moneymaking, but as a way to reach out to people.
I understand that you’re the executive chef. How’s a normal day like for you?
D: What I do has changed a lot since the start. In the beginning, a typical day would comprise of me coming in at around 7am, I’ll get the yeast going so we can make our own breads, then heading down to the market to pick up produce. Everything was more hands on and I spent most of my time in the kitchen. But now, a typical day would be replying emails, and meeting different people. If I have time I’ll head back to the kitchen to try out new recipes and see how things are running.
Out of the two, which do you enjoy more?
D: Well, there’s a bit of both that I like. I get to spend more time meeting people now, which I enjoy. I get to eat more (laughs), but I don’t get to cook as much.
However, what we have now is very good as we’re moving forwards, moving towards a certain direction.
What do you consider before putting dishes on the menu?
D: Food-wise, I’m always looking for something more robust and big in flavor. I would also look for how I can infuse some local flavor into the dish, something that people are familiar with, which can add a bit more personality to the dish.
The architecture and design of this place is really interesting. Can you tell me more about it?
D: The light fixtures in the restaurant are actually made from 540 pasta jars. That was our community involvement project. We used the sauce from those jars and cooked for hundreds of families over Christmas. We got the kids to write their wishes in those jars, picked some out and bought them gifts. The rest of the notes are still inside the jars.
What do you think is your proudest culinary accomplishment?
D: This story has got something to do with soup. At one point I was making a lot of chowders, potato chowders with bratwurst sausages. One day, these two foreigners came in and they ordered my soup. After tasting it, one of them looked at me and said that the soup reminded him of home. I think that’s the reason behind cooking. When certain foods click with certain memories, that’s when you’ve really got something.
The distinction is that, Food for Thought is motivated to serve good food, not for personal reasons, but in an attempt to give back to the local and global community. They have adopted five different missions and have raised funds to give back to society and bless the less fortunate in the world.
- Give Clean Water: Donating money to help the children in Africa enjoy the privilege of having a flow of clean water.
- Feed Good Food: Donating to support the United Nations in feeding the hungry and poor throughout the world.
- Make Poverty History: Donating to support World Vision in ensuring every community’s access to water, basic healthcare, education, nutrition and financial independence.
- Teach Them All: Purchasing merchandise from FFT to help School of Thought & Love in East Timor with the education of its citizens to ensure them a better, brighter future.
- Inspire Kind Acts: Doing good deeds for the people around you, translating the message of love to the rest of the community.
In retrospect, our experience at Food for Thought was truly enjoyable. The staff was welcoming and warm; the ambience was lovely and the food, impeccable. Needless to say, we found ourselves ordering seconds and even desserts following our main courses. We highly recommend the pancakes served with brown sugar syrup and fresh cream, remember to try that!
Here at ActuallyMAG, we try to create a balanced experience for you, giving you the best of all worlds and thus, shopping after a satisfying meal is a must. Be sure to head over to the shelves sidelining the restaurant and indulge in an assortment of personalized stationary and ornaments. These purchases will be to aid a good cause and are definitely worth your investment!
Be sure to visit both branches for two different dining experiences. More information can be found on their website, www.foodforthought.com.sg.
– Samantha Quek, Yishu
Food For Thought Restaurant
8 Queen Street,
T: +65 6338 9887
Food For Thought Diner
420 North Bridge Rd, North Bridge Centre #01-06
T: +65 6338 8724
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