For all the foodies out there who love watching fantastic cooking shows like I do… I hope you got a chance to catch the amazing extravaganza that recently unfolded on screens all over Asia. The stars were shining but not as bright as Nico Chan’s – Singaporean contestant of The Big Break. Resorts WorldTM Sentosa (RWS) offered the chance of a lifetime to 12 underprivileged youths from six countries across Asia to fulfill their dreams in an original 13 x 30mins reality television series created and produced by the Asian Food Channel (AFC) called The Big Break.
I was lucky enough to pin down this very humble cooking maestro to get a glimpse into his world..
AD: Hey Nico, congrats on the win, how you doing?
I’m doing great thanks Amanda, thanks for taking the time.
AD: What motivated you to sign up for the competition?
I have always had an interest in cooking. When I was younger, and my mom or dad would cook at home, I was always hanging around trying to find out what they were making and how they made it. The food my family makes is very good and I wanted to learn how to do the same.
REACH Community Services Society were the first to hear about AFC Original Production, The Big Break, and they were the ones that recommended for me to join this competition.
AD: How have your family and friends supported you through the competition?
My friends and family were very supportive throughout the competition, they always gave me words of encouragement when I was feeling homesick, or when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it to the next round. I made great friends with all of the other contestants during the filming as well, we all helped to encourage each other to keep going and try harder.
AD: What do you think the future has in store for you?
I definitely want to have a career in the culinary industry. One of my favourite celebrity chef’s is AFC Celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay! One day, I hope to own a restaurant like him.
AD: If you could cook for one person, who would it be and what would you cook for them?
I would like to cook for my parents. They are the ones that helped to cultivate my interest in cooking. If it weren’t for them, I never would have had the interest to join the competition and wouldn’t be where I am today.
AD: If you could choose one profession outside the culinary world, what would it be?
I would want to be a zookeeper! In one of the episodes of The Big Break, one of the punishments was to wash the elephants at the Singapore Zoo! I had so much fun!
AD: Who do you consider to be your role model?
RWS Executive Chef, Chef Alan Orreal, who was our mentor, chef, judge and host on The Big Break. Chef Alan taught us so much during the competition, and shared many of his own life stories with us. He struggled to start off his career as well when he was younger, and now he is the Executive Chef at Resorts World Sentosa! His career journey has truly been inspiring.
AD: How has winning The Big Break changed your life?
This was definitely a life changing experience and I would really like to thank the Asian Food Channel and Resorts World Sentosa for believing in me.
It’s opened my eyes and taught me many invaluable lessons about responsibility and working hard to achieve what you want. It has made me a more responsible and mature person and hopefully, will open many doors for me in the future.
AD: Do you find yourself to be a local celebrity in Singapore? Do people come up to you and ask you about your experience on the show?
People do ask me what it was like participating in an AFC original production, but I wouldn’t consider myself a local celebrity! I am still Nico, who likes to play video games and hang out with my friends!
AD: Well thanks for hanging out and answering my questions, and congrats again on your success – my last (and most important) question for you.. when are you going to cook for me?
Just say when Amanda!!!