As part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 programme of events, five top chefs took to the stage to discuss how they are looking to foster positive change in their own kitchens and how you can do the same in your place of work, too
The Singapore edition of #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, saw an audience of 650 foodies, members of the media and visiting chefs descend on Marina Bay Sands to talk Kitchen Karma: a discussion on how the restaurant industry is moving into a brighter future with healthier working practices. The #50BestTalks event, which started life in 2014 as a group of 10 chefs sitting around a table in New York to chew the fat about their industry, has evolved into a thought-leadership series that addresses subjects at the vanguard of the restaurant industry in a frank, honest and open manner.
Massimo Bottura, Daniela Soto-Innes, Eric Ripert, Tetsuya Wakuda and Ana Roš joined host Anita Kapoor on stage for the talk, which got straight to the point. Ripert’s opening salvo describing anger as a weakness set the tone for a discussion that moved through chefs’ attitudes in the kitchen, staff motivation and how to create a better work-life balance. Check out the chefs’ key quotes below and then watch the highlights reel from the event.
Check out the highlights from #50BestTalks: Kitchen Karma, presented by Miele, in Singapore:
Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Italy
“People want to help. People are ready to change and are ready to be part of a positive global movement. When you witness this, it makes you feel so proud of what you do and it makes you want to do more and more… To be a good boss you need to set a good example. You need to be the first in the kitchen and the last to leave and that inspires people. When people feel inspired, that’s when the magic happens.”
Ana Roš, Hiša Franko, Slovenia
“When I was named Best Female Chef in 2017, I decided to change my life by taking charge of my life. Balance means balancing everyone around you and looking at how you can help people. I’ve really tried to catch happiness in my life. By achieving balance, it doesn’t only make me a better cook, but also a better mother.”
Eric Ripert, Le Bernadin, USA
“When I was young, I had a temper. I emulated my mentors, screaming at my staff and throwing plates. I terrorised the team. It made them miserable and I was miserable myself, so I tried to change myself overnight. I realised that you cannot yell at someone for yelling. It was a work in progress and it took a long time, but today I’m happy to see a happy team… Breaking someone is not right, you're supposed to support them, make them blossom; you're not supposed to humiliate them.”
Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, USA
“I cannot contain my energy. In the kitchen, you have to have a lot of energy and you have to give attention to every single individual in the work force. You can tell right away if a cook is unhappy; you can taste it… When making an appointment, you are not hiring a waiter, you are hiring Bob or Maria, you are hiring their experience and ultimately you are choosing what kind of people you want to have around you.”
Tetsuya Wakuda, Waku Ghin, Singapore
“It was a bit nasty in the old days; a bit brutal. It wasn’t a nice place to be, but I am happy to say it is not like that these days… My philosophy is always about the team. I treat it like a family and everyone pulls together for the same cause. Our cooking is about how we can make the ingredient taste more like the ingredient and only a happy team can achieve that.”
For more news, features and videos from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.