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uR rEsiDent CheF



A dream will always be a dream if you don't realise it.



Last Build Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:39:48 +0000

 



Seriously? I'm on Telly?!

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 14:00:00 +0000


I couldn't contained my excitement when I finally saw myself on telly this evening. It's been a long journey and I couldn't thank enough all my friends and family that supported me along the way. Minutes after my 5-minute segment was aired, I received 5 new page likes and several enquiries on how to book a tea party at our place. You could directly message me on my facebook page: Ur Resident Chef. Or follow this PlateCulture link. Please note the prices may vary depending on the theme of the party.

Hope to be able to have a cuppa tea with you!

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Chinese New Year cookies 2016 - Hibiscus & Black Sesame

Tue, 05 Jan 2016 08:06:00 +0000

It's the most festive time of the year for us, Chinese again. And without fail, I will start my cookies baking session. This year I have created additional three new flavours to my collection of Chinese New Year shortbread cookies namely: Hibiscus & Black Sesame (see picture above), Earl Grey & Vanilla (a personal favourite using only vanilla beans instead of extract) and Rose & Pistachio (pretty little biscuits).Let me introduce this new member of my cookie creations: Hibiscus & Black Sesame. When I first chanced upon the purple-hued cookies, I was skeptical about how the cookies were coloured. But once I discovered that Hibiscus Tea lends a gorgeous red colour to the butter before baking. I'd immediately fell in love with the notion of Hibiscus Tea cookies.Why Hibiscus? Before we talked about the taste of these unique cookies, let's read about the natural health benefits of Hibiscus Tea. First of all, it is a rich source of Vitamin C.Not to mention its anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lower cholesterol too! You may read more about the miracle flower in this article.In case you haven't heard, we Chinese love our Black Sesame seeds. Its anti-ageing property is a well guarded secret. Check out this article to learn more about these humble seeds.Therefore, we should be enjoying more of the New Year celebration with these goodies. Not only is Hibiscus & Black Sesame a potent combination for health. Its exquisite sourish taste is one that is seldom found in other cookies flavours.If you are interested to try the different cookies, take a peek at my facebook page. In the meantime, I'm back to my kitchen to bake more delights. Last but not least, don't forget that these creations are made with only ORGANIC Raw Sugar, Unbleached flour and French Butter. [...]



The Tea Party @ Ur Resident Chef

Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:49:00 +0000



Apologies for any persons who happen to hope for some new material on this blog. I've been keeping myself busy by hosting Tea Parties at my place. The idea is simple. Friends bring friends and ultimately everyone becomes friends. Voila! The world gets smaller (quoting my dear friend Lin)!

Besides making more friends, we also share knowledge about healthy eating with our guests. Occasionally, we will have themed parties. Just last month, we hosted a successful Cheese Party. Our friend has requested for Cheese parties to be held quarterly. From such events, we all learnt how the various speciality cheeses differ and appreciate everything we eat a little bit more.

If you are tempted check out uR Resident Chef's facebook page link  for the past tea parties or join us for future parties to make more friends! 

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A for Apple

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:47:00 +0000

Apple Pie Cake, anyone?"An Apple a day keeps the doctor away." This is an age old wisdom that every child would have learnt in his school. However, do you know the many health benefits behind this modest fruit besides knowing it tastes sweet and crunchy?According to research study, consuming one to two apples a day will reduce the risk of heart disease. This study shows that daily apple consumption may help to lower cholesterol levels and two markers associated with plaques and inflammation in artery walls. If you are interested to read more about this, you may visit this site.Not only does eating an apple reaps tons of health benefits, the scent of green apples was found to relieve migraines too. Read about the research through this link.Apple contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and C. It also contains Fibre, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Zinc. To learn more about the good stuff found in an apple, visit this site.For those into traditional chinese medicine, the apple helps to balance the lungs and intestines. It will also aid in detoxing your livers after a night of drinking. The humble Apple was also on the recent news due to its involvement with the "Dirty Dozen". Nope, I'm not referring to any fruits hooligans. The Dirty Dozen refers to a group of fruits and vegetables most contaminated by pesticide use. More information is available on this site. Therefore, to avoid introducing excessive pesticides into your diet while continuing to enjoy your apples, you are advised to purchase organic apples.Hope you enjoyed my little post about Apples. Eat wisely, live healthy! [...]



Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:47:00 +0000

My Vitamin C tablets.Does this statement sound familiar to you? Recently I had to collect my monthly drug dosage of vitamins from the pharmacy and I was advised by the pharmacist to store my drugs in a Cool, Dry place. I was quick to inform her that I have been storing them in the refrigerator for the longest time. First she greeted my ignorance with extreme shock (imagine the emoticon :O) then she continued to remind me to store the vitamin C tablets in a cool, dry place. All right, I'm not trying to be funny. Could someone please advise me if such a place exists in Singapore with average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius around the year and a relative humidity that will only make my bread doughs very, very happy?Doubting the pharmacist, I went on to do a little Googling on my own as it takes more than just an advice from a professional to convince me to stop storing my ascorbic acid in a Cool but not Dry place. Well, it's not hard to find the information if every single site repeats the same mantra of "Store in a cool, dry place". Why is there a need to do so? Vitamins degrade and lose their effectiveness if they are stored properly. At the end of the day, I will simply be popping little orange pills that taste sour. Heat and moisture are not best friends of drugs. According to this site, storing my vitamins in the refrigerator means allowing condensation to enter the packaging each time I open it. This will lead to vitamin deterioration. Hope this little piece of information helps you as well. Live healthy and be happy! [...]



Testing Tiramisu recipes

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:19:00 +0000

I was requested to conduct a class on Tiramisu making for Father's Day. So I had to test out my recipe before the actual day.Over the years, I have tried and tested a lot of Tiramisu recipes but none seemed to find its way into my Red Book (my book of treasured recipes).So I have done some research on the recipes and figure out how the variations in recipes affect the end product.Types of alcohol usedBefore I got my hands on a bottle of Marsala wine, I was making Tiramisu with Rum. Rum is fine as a decent flavour to pair all cakes. But the sweet aroma of Marsala wine will produce a much tastier dessert. So I reckon it is worth all the effort. If you cannot consume alcohol, you have to find Rum extract. Using any other types of liqueur substitute will just spoil the overall taste.Instant coffee vs EspressoFor the convenience of most bakers, we will use instant coffee. However, don't forget coffee is an integral part of this dessert. Tiramisu means "Pick me up" in Italian. Hence, the coffee used for dipping the savioardi sponge fingers must be a good strong coffee preferably espresso.Homemade sponge fingers or store bought savioardi biscuitsAlthough I'm an advocate of making everything myself, in this case I love the Italian sponge fingers. Somehow the aromas that they have included in their sponge fingers make them tastier than homemade. Till I figured out what those aromas are, I'm sticking to store bought.Whipping cream or Egg whitesUnless you are saving those egg whites for your Macarons making, folding in both whipped cream and whisked egg whites add lightness to the recipe. It also adds volume to your mascarpone mix. Thus, you could use only 250g of Mascarpone for 8 servings.Egg yolks mixtureI have recentl chanced upon a good article about Tiramisu making using the zabaione (sabayon) method. Instead of simply whisking the egg yolks and sugar till thickened, I whisked it over a Bain Marie. This helps to cook the egg yolks. I was rather pleased that the final product was light and airy. On top of that, it aas much more stable. I could keep the dessert in the fridge without worrying about raw eggs inside.Cocoa powder or chopped chocolateTiramisu is never complete without a generous sprinkling of cocoa powder. Some lush recipe included chopped chocolate instead. After trying both recipes, I have decided to include the both. The chopped chocolate adds the extra lushness to the dessert. The cocoa powder helps to cover up the parts of dessert that the chocolate missed.After all the talk, here is the wonderful article on Tiramisu (recipe included). Enjoy! [...]



Deconstructing the Snickers Bar

Sat, 06 Jun 2015 12:48:00 +0000

The trend in Molecular Gastronomy in deconstructing classic recipes has finally gotten to me. Yes, I was craving for a Snickers bar. And yes, I am not spending another cent on store bought chocolate bars ever again. And yes, I was feeling too lazy to dip my brownies into chocolate ( although I really love everything coated with chocolate). So, I was inspired by the deconstruction of desserts. It presents classic desserts in a new way. Refreshing or catastrophically. And hence, my feeble attempt at one of my favourite chocolate bars.

I was trying to reconstruct the memories of eating a Snickers bar. The chocolate coating, the salty peanuts and the chewy marshmallow centre bring together the entire experience. Therefore, I recreated the marshmallows by simply whipping up a batch at home.  Not forgetting the peanuts, I opted for the sugar- coated version as I wish to introduce my favourite salted caramel sauce. Being a chocolate lover and bringing together the chocolate bar experience, I have thrown in several pieces of chocolate cake cubes. To top it all off, I drizzled in the hit chocolate sauce.

Verdict: what's not to like about a chocolatey, gooey mess of marshmallows and peanuts?

Sugar high.
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The Ultimate Choc

Sun, 31 May 2015 15:31:00 +0000

I guess most of us are posed with the problem of leftover bananas on our kitchen counter. And so on the other day, Mr K decided to give a banana to make him a dessert. Well easy I would usually make banana cake or muffin. As you can see, it's all so boring after a while.

Therefore while the banana was screaming "Eat Me!" for a couple of days. I started to search the internet looking for inspiration to this banana problem (ok, it's a good problem). There is an abundance of banana cakes in the market. And I simply grown to dislike the overpowering banana flavour which is a result of too much flavouring. But I love chocolate. Simple banana-choco combination never fail to please me. Besides, what's not to like about Chocolate desserts?

If you do a quick search of banana brownies, you will find that most bakers have mashed up the banana and incorporated them into the brownies. However, I would love to give the banana a chance to be presented beautifully on the cake. Solution cut cross sections of them and placed on top of the batter.

The result? Simply soft banana pieces in every bite. The subtle fragrance of the  banana lends moisture to the brownies while baking. And of course the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the divine dark chocolate brownie. Therefore, I named this dessert - The Ultimate Choc (pronounced as "Shock" in French). Enjoy!

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Donut or not doughnut?

Fri, 15 May 2015 13:30:00 +0000

It's National Doughnut Week from 9 to 16 May. Oh well, one more day to go.. but better late than never, eh? Be it you spell it the British way "Doughnut" or the American way "Donut", it is basically a piece of fried dough. What we all love about this fritter is the seemingly endless possibility of fillings even savoury! Check this doughnut sandwich out! You'll be amazed donuts could be stuffed with lobster.

Back in 2007, the doughnut craze in Singapore was at its peak. You would see long queues of people at every Tom, Dick and Harry doughnut shop. What amazes me is the trend is back again in US. I wonder if it will hit our shores again.

Anyway, my love for doughnuts exists in the form of Krafna as how we call it in Croatia. It is a bigger version of the British doughnuts. However the Croatian version has many more lovely ingredients including Rakija (Croatian brandy) and lemon zests. The typical fillings are chocolate and apricot jams. One might find custard or berry jam too. Finally it is dusted generously with icing sugar instead of rolled in caster sugar.

After obtaining a deep fryer for making doughnuts, I went on to try out the Croatian krafne. I made them bite size and filled them with my own berry jam. And here they are. Leave a comment if you are interested in the recipe.

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Goodbye my faithful ol' oven.

Sat, 02 May 2015 16:28:00 +0000

Recently I had to bid my 12-year-old oven goodbye. After moving to three flats with us and sent for one major repair once, the thermostat has failed me. Despite a broken thermostat, I was using the oven to roast my potatoes and breads.

After several attempts of burnt cakes, I finally forked out some cash to get an oven thermometer before I realised the problem.

We contacted the service centre which was conveniently located in the same building as Mister's office for repairs. The lady informed us that the oven model was no longer in production therefore, we won't be able to find a thermostat to replace.

So goodbye dear faithful oven of mine. May you rest in pieces in the electrical appliances heaven.

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Baking with my pet kitten

Sat, 02 May 2015 16:26:00 +0000

I always thought I could never own a pet due to the nature of my work. The idea of having fur everywhere in the house especially near the kitchen is a no-no for me.

However when our eyes set on this beautiful kitten that we affectionately named Kuki (yes, our little cookie), we knew we could never part with him.

How do I ensure hygiene standards in my kitchen then? Well, it involves lots of cleaning. Sanitise surfaces, steam mopping and constant hoovering. Thank goodness, little Kuki is short-haired. So he sheds little fur. Another important step is to train him not to venture onto worktops. I know we had Kuki for a relatively short time... Less than three months but I will continue to maintain hygiene standards in my kitchen to prevent contamination.

To sharing my life with my Kuki.

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Going gluten-free

Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:06:00 +0000

Have you ever tried gluten free desserts? You might have but you've probably wouldn't even have noticed they are gluten free.Gluten free desserts are made without the introduction of gluten producing ingredients such as wheat, barley and rye. Still not too sure what gluten is? Try mixing wheat flour and water. Eventually you will end up with a sticky dough that stretches when you pull it. That is gluten at work. This protein helps to build the structure for pastries and most importantly it gives bread the characteristic chewy texture.Throughout the course of my work as a baker, I have come across requests for gluten free pastries. At first, I simply brushed it aside as I thought I would be able to avoid the topic. Imagine you are telling a baker to omit the most vital ingredient in her bread - wheat flour amd replace it with another or a couple more ingredients. It is something I would never have dreamt of doing. However, as I researched deeper into gluten free diet, I realised the gravity of producing pastries for people on gluten free diets. There are those who are gluten intolerant or even allergic to it. Not forgetting many who chose to avoid gluten for personal health reasons.  You may visit this site for more information on gluten free diet. There are also many sites that discussed the benefits of going on such a diet. Here is one. Let me speak of my first attempt at making gluten free cookies for a friend. I was thinking, how hard could it be? I could just replace the wheat flour in my recipes with gluten free flour. But alas, all my beautiful cut cookies became a sad blob once the butter started to melt. In several desperate attempts, I spent hours on the internet searching for a solution. It turned up in the form of Xanthum Gum. For those who know me, they will tell you how much I hated adding anything unnecessary to my pastries. However, without a teaspoon of this gum, my cut cookies would not hold their shape at all no matter how much gluten free flour I added to the dough. One good thing about gluten free dough, you could never overwork it!!I guess that started my journey into the gluten free realm. I shall continue to explore and bake lovely pastries that are gluten free. Another challenge conquered! Do you have a gluten free story to share? [...]






Bread Creation in Progress

Mon, 13 May 2013 09:00:00 +0000


This is my satisfied creation number one. #Carrot and #Walnut Loaf. Watch this space for more from my Bakery!
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Hi! I am a Baker!

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:04:00 +0000

Nice of you to drop by my blog that has been dormant for a while. Nope I have not given up my passion that I've devoted my entire life pursuing. I am always a student in the baking trade always learning something new each day in the world of Baking.Baking excites the senses. The aroma of freshly baked breads and buttery pastries makes me want to jump up from my seat and dash straight to the oven. The beauty of wonderfully adorned cakes lights up a bakery display instantly. Of course, nothing is more satisfying than ripping through a perfectly baked Baguette. The combination of crusty exterior and a chewy soft interior sets of fireworks in my mouth. Not to mention, the fluffiness of Chiffon cake will remind you of heaven on earth.For years, I have been searching for a path that I might follow. A Baker's way as I would like to term it. Some bake for pure joy of producing perfect loaves. Others take the exquisite path of making the most beautiful creations that look like works of art. My baking journey took me on various paths and each experience is magnificent. When I see a baker smile, I see the love for his trade through it. Now I could finally say I could see where my path is heading, my very own Baker's Way:"Simple and basic techniques are used on each baked good. No gimmicks and no nasty things are added. Choose ingredients that are fresh and reflect the season and locality. Taking care of those who don't used to have the privilege of savouring desserts like the average person. Last but not least, making confections that are delicious and healthy so it could be enjoyed by all." [...]



Sugar Free? Think again!

Fri, 22 Feb 2013 09:09:00 +0000


Research shows that people who consume "Diet" or "Sugar-Free" sodas have an increased risk of developing Type II Diabetes. Read this link

To me if you are on a diet and you consume "Diet" sodas, it is as good as self-denial. Watch your diet by consuming products of nature. Not artificially sweetened stuff. 

Do you agree with me?


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Blogging On the Go

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 05:22:00 +0000

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Blogging from my mobile. Let's see how far it goes.(image)









Frankenfoods return with a vengence!

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 04:52:00 +0000

Franken-pears, anyone?It's been a long silence since I last wrote about Genetically Modified Foods or Frankenfoods. What prompted me to ponder this morning was a slice of wholemeal bread. It would otherwise be gobbled down without questioning if not for my Mister's query about the weird texture of breads that we have nowadays. So I began the usual process of questioning the source on Google till I chanced upon GMO Wheat. Reading with disgust how our consumers' voices are muffled by a few mighty GMO enterprises that could dictate the US laws. I may not be an American citizen but speaking as an outsider. In Singapore, where I'm currently residing, there are no laws to govern any sort of GMO labelling. See this link for more information about GMO foods that could already be on our plates! I do hope my voice as a global citizen could affect the decisions of many who read this article to let their voices be heard so GMO foods should be banish to way they belong.. the labs!What is GMO? Science has reached a new frontier where we could alter the genes of almost anything so that we can "play God" and breed (or cultivate) only the best for our consumption. This sounds to me to be the equivalent of Hitler's idea of creating an Aryan race! How does it sound to take human genes and play with them the same way like our foods?Many sources will tell you that we do not yet know the effects of GMO foods in our diet as we have not been consuming GMO foods long enough to tell. But an article that I found which I will post here suggested that we may already be suffering from the effects of these GE microorganisms! Now I think I've said enough, it is up to you to make the decision. Hope you join us in this voice against GMO future!Read and sign the petition to make a difference! [...]



A filler

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:21:00 +0000

I'm trying to fill in the silence that has filled this blog for a while. I've been absent from the blogging world but am still reading your comments (if they are not spam). I've also taken a long break from the profession that I adored and let myself take a body and soul take a well deserved pause. The main reason is I have realised that much of the hard work put in by chefs in here are not appreciated.

When will I be back in the kitchen? Only time will tell.
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Hey Lemon!

Fri, 21 May 2010 12:44:00 +0000

What's with the Sour Face? Cheer up it's a Friday. Yes, finally back with another blog entry. Today we are on the topic of Lemons. What comes to your mind when you think of a Lemon. Sour? Lemonade? Lemon Tart? Or Air Freshener?For those who did not realise, the humble yellow citrus fruit we fondly call the Lemon is one of the most useful fruits on earth. Wikipedia will tell you that Lemon is a small evergreen tree belonging to the Citrus family. The Citrus Family refers to sourish fruits like our dear Lemon to Orange. This Family is packed with power Vitamin C that is excellent to boost your immune system.This fruit is native to Asia. India being the largest producer of Lemons (according to statistics on Wikipedia). The name Lemon is derived to a much older Persian name of Limun. However, no one is sure where the tree originates from. This lovely tree can be seen in most Croatian gardens. Being evergreen, the tree can withstand the harshest winters in the mediterranean region. You can still see the pretty fruits dangling on the trees like christmas decorations. It is a lovely sight in winter especially when the cold reduces most trees in the temperate regions to bare sticks. If you think Lemons taste pretty much the same, you will be surprised when you come across a Sicilian or Dalmatian Lemon. These Lemons are plumper and more orangey than the usual Lemons we see in the market. The taste of these southern Lemons are slightly less sourish.Why do I say it is the most useful fruit? You see, not only can we use the Lemon Juice to make wonderful pastries and Lemonade. A slice or two of Lemon is great decoration for a glass of cocktail or makes a nice cup of tea refreshing. In Croatia, some caffee bars serve sparkling water and Cola with a slice of Lemon. The zest or rind of the Lemon Fruit which contains citrus oils is not only added to the rich New York Cheesecake, it can be used to make essential oils for aromatherapy purposes.Check out my Cake recipes for Lemon-inspired creations.In the supermarket aisles, we can find cleaning products that contain Lemon scent. Doing a quick google, you can get sites that teach you how to remove room odours using Lemons. Not forgetting Lemon juice itself has bleaching qualities too.Here is a site with some handy lemon tips.You can check out the Nutritional Value of Lemon here.I bet the next time you look at the Lemon, it will never be the same again. [...]



Blog Blog Blog

Mon, 03 May 2010 05:38:00 +0000

Here I go again. Another attempt at starting my Blogging momentum. And for my concerned mates, I am blogging .... still. So let's start off with something rather.. French. Oh yeah.. my favourite cuisine. Sweet, Chocolatey, smooth and soft. When I ordered the cake with the lady at the counter, she was almost embarassed to confess that she couldn't pronounce the name of the pastry. As featured in the picture, this innocent looking chocolate cake...or dessert is name Praline Moelleux. In French, the "e" on the Praline is accented. Praline is a like a reputable lady in the pastry world. A little dose is what it takes to lift the overall flavour of the dessert. Yet, it is so subtle to the palate. Praline is simply sugar coated nuts (Hazelnuts, Almonds or Pecans). Praline paste is usually a thick gooey hazelnut paste that is excellent with Chocolate tarts or truffles.I've found a similar recipe to the one that I've eaten in the cafe. Have a go at this Chocolate Praline delice. It's a definite winner at any dinner party!Be back another time. Eat well and Enjoy life! [...]



Business Ethics?

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 13:08:00 +0000

Just had a terrible dinner at a local coffeeshop .. we called it a Kopitiam. Do not mistaken it for a cafe. It's simply a place where the locals hang around for meals and coffees less the sophistication of a cafe. Why do I say the meal was bad? Oh well, Ur Absentminded Resident Chef had forgotten that she had no cash left in her wallet when she ordered her food. So she told the stall owner to hold on to the plate of rice and ran off to a cash machine. Minutes later when she returned to pay for her food. She had happily settled down to enjoy her food only to discover the stall owner had gave her stale vegetables.

At this point, what would you do if you were me? Confront the stall owner and demand for a plate of (possibly) stale food or eat in silence.. picking those parts that weren't sour? Whatever the decision is, I had chose to suffer in silence and not to frequent the stall ever again. No matter what happened, shouldn't the stall owner possess a minimal level of business ethics in such circumstances? This is not the first incident in Singapore. We had encountered stall owners that tried to cheat us for a few cents more by attempting to forget our change or give us bigger portions than what we've ordered.

Business Ethics? What have happened to it? Why is there a decreasing level of morality practised in the Food and Beverages Industry?
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Notes from the Chef's Office: Challenge for the industry

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 05:17:00 +0000

Another week flew past without us noticing, It's Friday again. And while most contemplate where to party after their work, most Food and Beverage industry workers especially in the Restaurant business, will be slogging our weekends away. Before the weekend even started, we will be slaving to rush out the last minute orders for the food supplies to cater for the reservations and walk-in customers for the weekends. Just for those who have no idea of how the Industry operates, the rule states that there will be no deliveries for food supplies on weekends. So that translates to: If you do not place order for sufficient Seabass, your head chef or restaurant manager will give you a piece of his mind when a disappointed customer complains. However, the new and over-zealous might put an order for too many Salmon and he will also be put on the hot seat when the cost of food spoilage piles up.Let's return to the topic to close the end of this week: The Biggest Challenge... for the Industry. What could it be? The Customers? The Stress? The Cooking? Nope. It's the ability of the manager to retain staff. In this Industry where the working hours are treacherous and mostly stressful, not many with whatever level of passion can last long. Most of the time, the owners of F&B businesses will face the problem of staff turnover. Staff leave for multitude of reasons: the inability to handle the stress, the boss or management is giving him/her problems at work or simply the staff was proposed a better salary elsewhere.How much should the boss be paying the staff to retain them? Sometimes, monetary value of the job may not be the sole reason. Job satisfaction or the other staff working the company could be contributing factors too.So I've learnt, there's more to running a business than just delivering the products. I welcome your comments on my post. Ur Resident Chef signing off for the week. Eat well and stay healthy. [...]