SINGAPORE - The Business Times and Knight Frank Pte Ltd (Knight Frank) will be launching the second edition of the CEOs' Hawker Guide at the UBS Business University Asia Pacific, Command House on October 24 at an event hosted by UBS. The inaugural edition of the CEOs' Hawker Guide was published in 2010.
The book is the culmination of a hawker food series published in The Business Times between September 2012 and April 2013. Eleven top executives each provided a list of their top 10 preferred stalls in various hawker food categories, including prawn noodles, chicken rice, bak kut teh, laksa, satay and roti prata. The list was then compiled and sent to The Business Times' CEO database for CEOs to vote for their favourite hawker stalls.
In each category, the top four or five stalls with the most votes were subsequently profiled by The Business Times' food writers in its weekend edition. These articles have been compiled and published as the CEOs' Hawker Guide to serve as a convenient reference for all food lovers.
The panel of executives are:
- Tan Tiong Cheng, Executive Chairman, Knight Frank Pte Ltd
- Alan Chan, CEO, Singapore Press Holdings
- Allen Lew, CEO, SingTel Group Digital Life and Country Chief Officer, Singapore
- Chong Siak Ching, CEO, National Art Gallery
- Edmund Koh, Country Head, UBS Singapore and CEO, UBS Wealth Management, SEA & APAC Hub
- Elim Chew, President/Founder, 77th Street
- Kwek Leng Peck, Executive Director, Hong Leong Asia
- Ng Lang, CEO, Urban Redevelopment Authority
- Seah Kian Peng, CEO, NTUC FairPrice Co-operative Ltd
- Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore
- Philip Ng, CEO, Far East Organisation
In conjunction with the launch of the CEOs' Hawker Guide, The Business Times and Knight Frank will also be raising funds for a good cause - preserving Singapore's hawker heritage and helping young people by equipping them with the skills to be a hawker and helping them start their own business. The initiative, called Project Hawkerpreneurs, will involve inviting companies to donate a sum of money to support the cause. All donors will get complimentary copies of the CEOs' Hawker Guide, which is not available for retail sale.
All funds raised by Project Hawkerpreneurs will be donated to YMCA to help young people learn culinary skills to be hawkerpreneurs through the Hawker Master Trainer Pilot Programme.
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) are partnering The Business Times and Knight Frank on the Hawker Master Trainer Pilot Programme. This collaboration sees WDA providing interested hawkerpreneurs with foundational Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training in Food & Beverage as well as an opportunity to learn from veteran hawkers via On-the-Job Training (OJT) for up to four weeks, after which they will be assessed.
NEA will provide incubation hawker stalls to allow trainee hawkers to showcase their culinary skills using the traditional hawker recipe from the veteran hawkers.
WDA will provide a training grant of up to 90 per cent of course fees for the WSQ training, while Knight Frank Pte Ltd and The Business Times, via YMCA's Project Hawkerpreneurs, will fund up to 90 per cent of the OJT course fee charged by the veteran hawkers.
The veteran hawkers, identified as Hawker Master Trainers, are selected mainly from the CEOs' Hawker Guide and further shortlisted by the advisors of the pilot programme, Knight Frank Pte Ltd and The Business Times.
Some of the Hawker Master Trainers include Mr Thian Boon Hua of Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice at Balestier Road, Mr Sulaiman Bin Abu of D'Authentic Nasi Lemak at Marine Parade Central, Mr Tan Ah Guan of Apollo Fresh Cockle Fried Kway Teow at Marine Parade Food Centre and Madam Lai Yau Kiew of Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist at Hong Lim Food Centre.
Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: "The CEOs' Hawker Guide celebrates good hawker food, so it is apt that the book is being used to raise funds to preserve Singapore's hawker heritage. The YMCA's objective of helping young people explore their career options dovetails with our aim to assist successful hawkers who are planning to retire pass on their skills to younger Singaporeans. We hope to pass the baton to YMCA after this pilot project is concluded.''
Mr Tan Tiong Cheng, Executive Chairman, Knight Frank Pte Ltd, said: "Hawker food fare has always been the cornerstone of Singapore's food culture and an integral part of our heritage. There is now an urgency to promote and ensure this cultural heritage remains alive in the years ahead as many of our first generation master hawkers are nearing retirement, many with no one to pass their culinary skills to. Knight Frank is proud to collaborate with The Business Times on the CEOs' Hawker Guide to celebrate the success of our best hawkers. At the same time, we hope that our efforts to support the Hawker Master Trainer Pilot Programme will enable more people who wish to take up the trade to learn from some of the best veteran hawkers in Singapore and to help preserve our unique food culture."
The CEOs' Hawker Guide is not for sale. But for a minimum donation of S$20, donors will receive a complimentary copy of the book. All cheque donations are to be made out to "Knight Frank/BT Charity A/C".
For more information on the Hawker Master Trainer Pilot Programme, please visit www.wda.gov.sg.