A restaurant owner and a chef join forces to whip up a storm for senior citizens.
Contributed By Lim Bi Jia
On Oct. 29, the atmosphere at Le Muria restaurant was filled with the aroma of mouthwatering food and the animated buzzing of conversation—typical hallmarks of a well-received restaurant on a weekend night.
Le Muria, however, is not your typical restaurant and the diners were not regular patrons of the restaurant. They were 30 senior citizens from the Ai Xin Home in Toa Payoh who had been invited to tuck into a hearty three-course meal—a treat from the head chef of Le Muria, Thomas Lam, 45, and owner of the restaurant, Aaron Seth, 33.
To date, even though the restaurant, which specializes in Western and Italian cuisine, is only about eight months old, it has already been doing its part for the community by hosting charitable initiatives such as this. Seth is the young owner of the restaurant and one half of the dynamic duo. Interestingly, he was also the owner of two Information Technology companies before he decided to make his foray into the dining industry and set up Le Muria. It comes as no surprise that Seth comes from a family of chefs and food business owners. Enthusiastic and driven, he speaks excitedly about carrying out future charitable events through Le Muria.
|CN PHOTO: Tan Yun You|
Rounding up the pair is executive chef, Lam, a veteran of sorts when it comes to community outreaches. His other community works include mentoring and teaching delinquent youths, former prison inmates and the hearing-impaired in the art of cooking. Through these outreaches, he hopes to give them a sense of purpose by helping them to carve out a meaningful career path. In fact, it was six years ago, when Lam was inspired through a television program showcasing celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s efforts to help delinquent youths, that he decided to use his culinary passion and gift to make a difference.
Today, six years on, he is the owner of two restaurants—Streets of London and Haven’s Grill—both currently undergoing restructuring to further accommodate his ever burgeoning passion to reach out to the marginalized and “forgotten” in society.
His advice to young aspiring chefs who hope to make a difference with their trade: “Any young chef who wants to take on this role must cook from the heart.” Indeed, the effect could be seen on the weathered faces of the elderly, who were clearly relishing and enjoying their meal.
It is without a doubt that those who gained most from the evening were Seth and Lam, and their helpers, as they busied themselves with clearing up and closing for the day.
Thomas Lam will be organizing a Christmas charity dinner for Andrew And Grace Home on Dec. 22. Those interested to lend a hand may contact him at +65 9754 7716.