The Secret Ingredients of a Truly Transformative Mentorship

Mentor: Mr. Charles Goh, Executive Chef of Amara Singapore  

Mentee: AJ Lim Jie, Diploma in Culinary Skills, SHATEC

Chef Charles is an experienced culinary chef in the local Food and Beverage (F&B) scene, and the Executive Chef of Amara Singapore. His mentee, AJ Lim Jie (2018 intake), currently undertakes an internship at Amara Singapore.

Building Passion and Integrity Behind Every Meal

Like many other budding aspiring chefs, AJ enrolled into SHATEC to enrich his culinary skills and knowledge. Taking his ambitions a step further, he took part in the Industry Mentorship Programme at SHATEC (IMPS) in hopes that he would come under the mentorship of an experienced chef who can guide and shape his culinary career.

Through a detailed and stringent matching process based on his course in the culinary track, AJ could tap on the wealth of knowledge and experience of Chef Charles Goh, Executive Chef of Amara Singapore.

Not one to shy away from dishing good advice, Chef Charles taught AJ basic etiquette of work practices in the kitchen, and the amount of hard work and discipline he must put in to excel, not just in his cooking, but also as an individual.

A Shared Confidence Behind Transformative Learning

Despite juggling a busy work schedule as an Executive Chef, and a varied portfolio as a Chef Mentor to three mentees, Chef Charles views IMPS as a fundamental programme that connects hospitality students with industry stalwarts, an opportunity that is hard to come by.

He shared, “It’s not every day that students get to truly know and understand what’s happening in the kitchen, experience the life of a chef, and have someone guide them on the sacrifices [to make] to excel in the culinary line. IMPS gives students that chance.”

Chef Charles’ effort and dedication deeply resonates with his mentee, AJ, who considers the former “more than just a mentor”.

AJ also noted that Chef Charles constantly reaches out to his colleagues and mentees, showing care and concern beyond a leadership role.

“Chef Charles has a very good understanding and knowledge of the F&B industry, and takes pride in what he does, always seeking perfection in food and its operations. He’s always on the lookout for new learning opportunities for us. When there are talks or seminars, he would encourage us to attend and gain exposure.”

Dishing Up Help for Tomorrow’s Bright, Young Chefs

When asked about his culinary aspirations, AJ bubbled about his hopes to continue growing and learning as a chef, so he does not become stagnant in his culinary abilities.

“One day, I wish to run my own restaurant and invite my mentor down for a tasting. I want to convey my appreciation and let him know how impactful he has been to my life.”

Heartened by AJ’s desire and initiative to learn from day one of the programme, Chef Charles feels that mentees must first learn to open up and ask questions. He points out that AJ has grown leaps and bounds in his internship, and is now running the Western banquet without needing much supervision.

On an ending note, AJ urges mentees for future cycles of IMPS to cast their fears aside and take the first step forward, because “this programme will help you more than you know”.