Celebrity eats: Nick Shen on his daily eats

Former MediaCorp actor Nick Shen Weijun, who is in his 30s, has been named one of the 2014 Junior Chamber International Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in the category of cultural achievement.

He will travel to Germany later this month to receive the award.

The bachelor founded Tok Tok Chiang Events Company, an events management company specialising in the arts and culture, in 2011. He lives in a five-room HDB flat in Bukit Panjang with his 67-year-old father and a domestic helper.

"My daily workload is quite intense even on weekends, so I usually go straight home to rest after my weekly Teochew opera performances at Swatow Seafood Restaurant in Toa Payoh on Friday evenings.

When I wake up, I have a morning routine of drinking one or two glasses of warm water before brushing my teeth.

My daily breakfast is a convenient mix of three-in-one cereal with Milo or fresh orange juice. I am a Buddhist and vegetarian, and am also quite health-conscious so I take care to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.

On Saturdays, which start at 9 or 10am for me, I take my three-year-old dogs, Champ, a male Chihuahua, and Mei, a female papilion, for an hour-long walk at the garden below my block. Once a month, I may take them for grooming at a pet shop in Bukit Timah, when they need a haircut or have skin irritations.

On Saturdays, I also attend classes with my dad at Cheng Kang Culture in Farrer Drive, which conducts classes and workshops on Chinese history and culture. We have been going for the past two years. Not only do we find the classes meaningful, but they also help us improve our Chinese.

The teachers are very dedicated, especially Professor Zheng Fu, who encouraged me to continue pursuing Chinese opera when I felt like giving up.

The perfect weekend for me is going to classes with my dad because he loves them. It also allows me to spend quality time with him as I'm usually busy during the week.

Lunch is a simple one, either a potluck session in class or a meal at a nearby hawker centre.

I try to jog at least once or twice a week to keep myself focused and energetic during work.

After class, I usually jog at the garden below my block for 40 to 60 minutes. I enjoy exercising outdoors rather than in an air-conditioned gym because I like fresh air and nature.

I'm not fussy about food, so dinner is also at hawker centres or something simple such as my favourite Teochew porridge with black olives or white carrot soup prepared by my domestic helper.

During dinner, I usually check my e-mail or watch YouTube videos and talks given by the Venerable Cheng Yen, a Taiwanese Buddhist nun and philanthropist. I then unwind in my room and sleep at about 11pm.

If it's durian season, my dad and I may go for a durian feast as we love the fruit.

On Sundays, I go to the office to catch up on work. My team and I plan and conceptualise private and corporate events in the arts and culture field. Occasionally, I have to host the events, or choreograph and perform the Chinese opera segments, which we specialise in.

For lunch, I either eat with my mentor, Suchana Swangsrisuthikul, the owner of Jai Thai restaurant who shares the office with me, or go for yong tau foo at Fortune Centre.

I also walk around and check out ongoing art exhibitions at the National Library, which is near my office.

After work, I head to my teacher, Master Lin Shuai Min's house to brush up my skills on mask changing and Chinese opera, and have a home-cooked dinner of traditional Chinese food with him and his wife.

I end my weekend unwinding and playing with my dogs at home."

This article was first published on November 21, 2014.
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