Inmates cook up a storm in Changi catering kitchen as part of training, rehab programme, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – When father-of-two Faruk was sentenced to seven years and 10 months’ jail in 2017 for drug-related offences, he did not expect to find a passion for decorating cakes or learning how to fold pastries while behind bars.

The 38-year-old, who declined to give his full name, spends six days a week in a kitchen as part of his work programme during his incarceration in the Changi Prison Complex.

While his family has yet to try his creations, the former mechanic hopes to make his sons, aged 12 and 13, their favourite strawberry cheesecake, when he is released.

“My family was surprised that I could bake cakes. I could see from their faces that they are happy I’m learning because I have never done this kind of thing before,” said Faruk in a phone interview on Wednesday (Oct 7). “(In the kitchen,) I learnt how to be patient, relax, and come up with more ideas to decorate (the cakes).”

He hopes to work in a pastry shop after his release.

About 30 or so inmates are chosen every year to work in The Changi Tearoom, after they have attended correctional programmes that support their rehabilitation.

They are chosen based on interest or prior experience working in the food and beverage sector. Other programmes include tailoring workshops and working in call centres.

Located in the prison complex, the catering kitchen serves as an industry-standard training ground for offenders.

It is managed by YR Industries, a subsidiary of the Yellow Ribbon Singapore. While the public can usually order catering services from the kitchen, it currently serves only prison staff in the light of Covid-19 safety measures.

Another offender, who wanted to be known only as Michael, said he refined his skills in The Changi Tearoom kitchen.

He is serving a 5½ years’ jail term for drug-related offences. The 29-year-old had previously worked as a chef for a decade before his incarceration in 2018.


Singapore Chefs’ Association chef mentor Dexter Lim (left) plating a course created with Michael. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE

He said: “I feel very lucky and very blessed to have this opportunity because there are only so many of us and (I am) able to gain something during this time.”

Michael plans to cook his family and friends a three-course feast after his release. “They deserve everything since I put them through so much and they’ve stood by me, so I want to do what I can for them.”

Faruk, Michael and the other chefs are in the midst of rolling out six-course meals for an online silent auction on Oct 22.

Four sets, each enough to feed four, will be delivered to the highest bidders, with all proceeds going to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

The menu includes main course options of chicken roulade served with carrot mash and confit asparagus, or seared salmon with butter glazed vegetables, roast potatoes and oriental celery pesto. Dessert will be a florentine blueberry vanilla cheesecake.

They are being mentored by the Singapore

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In a new podcast, Boston’s Brazilian house cleaners share stories ‘swept under the rug’

Heloiza Barbosa in the studio to record a recent episode of the "Faxina" podcast.
Heloiza Barbosa in the studio to record a recent episode of the “Faxina” podcast.Courtesy Faxina Podcast

In the 1990s, Brazil native Heloiza Barbosa was working toward her doctorate in education at Boston University when she took a job as a housekeeper on Martha’s Vineyard. One evening, her employer offered extra hours working a special event. Barbosa arrived to find the guest of honor was Salman Rushdie. “I read his work!” Barbosa told the owner. “Shhhh! Don’t Speak! Work!” was the response. In March 2020, this was the first of many stories featured on the “Faxina” podcast. The show, created and hosted by Barbosa, is focused on the experiences of Boston-area Brazilian house cleaners. Reached via phone at her home in Brookline, Barbosa spoke about the podcast’s origins and its multilingual reach.

Q. What motivated you to start a podcast?

A. About two years ago I was thinking about publishing a collection of short stories I was writing in Portuguese. Beyond the book, I intended to interview a former professor of mine who was a victim of torture during Brazil’s military dictatorship [1964-85]. So when I went to see her in my hometown of Belém, I began to chat with anyone in the street out of a sense of nostalgia. I was shocked by how unaware people were of Brazil’s recent history, especially young people. The youth did not even believe there was ever a military dictatorship. That helped in the election of [Jair] Bolsonaro, a man who once paid homage to a torturer from the military era in the halls of [Brazil’s] congress.

When Bolsonaro was elected I moved away from the book idea. Not everyone in Brazil has access to them; they’re very expensive there. So that’s when I decided to do a podcast because it’s a format with greater reach in Brazil. While initially it was going to be about life under the dictatorship, a conversation with a friend changed that. She’s a house cleaner [the Brazilian Portuguese word for house cleaning as a service is “faxina”], and after hearing her story, I thought: “My God! People need to hear this.” That was when I realized how many great stories there were under my nose. That was how “Faxina” was born, with the goal of telling people stories previously swept under the rug.

Q. What do you think kept these stories hidden before?

A. The reasons vary but often mirror people’s motives for leaving Brazil. Many left to escape poverty. Others fled from domestic violence. Others from homophobia because Brazil is an extremely homophobic and racist country. So, recording these stories truly means bringing them out of the shadows.

When we began making “Faxina,” I had no idea what it would become. I thought we’d only interview people about what it’s like working in the US. But as I heard more stories, I realized that we are sitting on a treasure trove of stories of resilience, stories about overcoming adversity and that give people back some aspect

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Ugly Story From American History, Inspiring Stories Of Art, On View At Shofuso Japanese House And Garden

The Underground Railroad will always serve as America’s greatest example of ordinary citizens sticking their necks out to help those suffering under the crushing weight of the nation’s racist institutions. Another example can currently be found in a most unusual place, the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia during its new exhibition, “Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia.”

Organized by The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the exhibition celebrates the friendships and transcultural exchanges between Junzo Yoshimura (1908–1997, Japan), George Nakashima (1905-1990, US), Noémi Pernessin Raymond (1889-1980, France) and Antonin Raymond (1888–1976, Austria-Hungary), through their collaborative architectural projects.

Their brilliant artwork takes on added dimensions when their remarkable back stories are discovered.

The married Raymonds first visited Japan in 1919 to work for Frank Lloyd Wright on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. They subsequently set up their own architectural offices in Tokyo in 1922, where they would live and practice for the next 18 years.

Yoshimura started working for the Raymond’s architectural office in 1928 when he was still a student and continued to work with the Raymonds until 1941.

Nakashima started working at the Raymond’s firm in 1934 until his return to Seattle in 1941. Shortly after returning to the U.S., the Nakashima family was sent to the Minidoka internment camp in Hunt, Idaho.

Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, 120,000 people of Japanese descent living on America’s West Coast were sent to internment camps. They were American citizens, like Nakashima, his wife, also of Japanese descent, and their baby daughter.

In 1943, the Raymonds interceded and successfully vouched for the Nakashimas, thus allowing the family to take refuge at the Raymonds’ Farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania where they would eventually settle and set up Nakashima’s house, studio and workshop.  

George Nakashima and his wife, Marion Okajima, were both American citizens, both born in the United States. Both were college graduates with degrees from prestigious universities, George with an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in architecture from MIT, Marion a degree from UCLA – exceedingly rare for a woman in 1940s America. George Nakashima had traveled the world as an American citizen.

That didn’t matter.

Both had Japanese ancestry so they were rounded up by the U.S. government and their freedom was taken away. No crime was committed. No trial was held.

The Raymond’s, neither of whom were born in the United States, but both possessing the golden ticket to opportunity in American–being white–possessed the influence to free the American-born and

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Singapore Kitchen Equipment CEO, group senior sales manager, on bail amid graft probe, Business News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Catalist-listed Singapore Kitchen Equipment said on Sunday night (Sept 13) that its husband-and-wife founders Sally Chua Chwee Choo and Alan Lee Chong Hoe, as well as group senior sales manager Alvin Chiao Shan Ren, were interviewed by the authorities in a corruption probe.

Ms Chua is the group’s executive director and chief executive officer, while Mr Lee is an executive director.

Ms Chua and Mr Chiao are on bail in relation to investigations into offences under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the group said in a regulatory update.

It added that their passports were surrendered to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao were interviewed by the CPIB on or about Sept 10 in connection with entertainment expenses and sales commissions relating to certain projects undertaken by Q’son Kitchen Equipment, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The group, through Q’son, provides commercial and industrial kitchen solutions for the food and beverage and hospitality services industries. Ms Chua is also the managing director of Q’son.

Singapore Kitchen Equipment said the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao as at Sunday. Its nominating committee is of the view that the trio remain competent and it would be in the group’s best interests that they continue to discharge their responsibilities and duties in the operation of the group’s businesses.

Although it is presently not aware of any impropriety or offence committed by Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao, the board said it has appointed solicitors and an independent reviewer to, among other things, review the group’s internal processes and internal controls to further strengthen corporate governance.

Singapore Kitchen Equipment on Sunday requested to lift a trading halt called on Sept 11. The counter last traded at 9.8 cents on Aug 20.

Correction note: An earlier version of the article incorrectly reported that Alan Lee Chong Hoe instead of Alvin Chiao Shan Ren as being on bail and having his passport surrendered.  We are sorry for the error.

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Funny Gardening Stories (2)

Recently, I walked by way of my family room and stumbled upon papers belonging to my son Jack. Chemicals can take away essential vitamins from the soil which obviously has a knock-on effect that damages the entire setting surrounding your garden or patch of land. Metaphorically, each heart is the garden of the Lord, and, collectively, we’re all His garden, the paradise where He longs to dwell as our Source of Love, as our divine Spouse. Volkov was a skilled machinist, along with his personal home and garden plot, and life was OK by Soviet requirements. Many garden sheds are additionally accessible in a wide range of plastic materials and are constituted of heavy molded plastics, similar to: PVC and polyethylene, and need very little maintenance. A Kindergarten is a preschool academic institution for kids and within the very sense of the word should have access or be part of a garden. However, wooden garden sheds do need some common maintenance to keep them weatherproofed.

The following suggestions clarify some widespread methods on how one can keep cats out of your garden. If you might be additionally planning to create an organic garden identical to me, than here’s a piece of advice I wan to share with you that I received from a buddy who is an expert of doing organic gardening. Manage what you are promoting – set up a system to maintain good records, observe earnings and bills, and garden production. Garden huckleberries are in truth related to tomatoes, in addition to peppers and potatoes. Once you’ve determined what materials you need in your garden shed, you should select the dimensions and magnificence you want. All you want are some old bricks, just a few cinder blocks, or perhaps left over timbers to construct up your raised mattress vegetable garden. We stayed at the TownPlace Suites a couple of 5 mile drive to The Garden of the Gods. For larger vegetable gardens chances are you’ll want to add walkways so that you do not step on plants tending to the garden.

In the Carmelite tradition, it is within the enclosed garden of the center that we encounter Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, Mary, mannequin of the contemplative life, and all the corporate of heaven. The sunrise and sunsets of the Garden are actually one of the most wanted and most lovely scenes.

When designer B. Jane created a garden for her own home, she confronted some familiar challenges: a small lot with a need for privateness from the neighbors so she and her family might enjoy a resort-like back yard, full with swimming pool, grilling station, hearth pit, spa, and out of doors shower.

Plant them in full solar in the vegetable garden after all danger of frost has previous, about the same time you plant your tomatoes. This sort of garden is one thing similar to rising greens in containers solely the ‘container’ will be a lot larger. What is the Garden of Eden?: The Garden of …

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Funny Gardening Stories

Ever single object of the Garden of Eden is good, filled with freshness and natural. Longtime Flingers could keep in mind assembly Southern Living’s garden editor, Steve Bender aka The Grumpy Gardener , at Asheville Fling in 2012! This kind of design can be repeated in most any garden setting whether or not it be traditional or up to date. And in the mean time, since our greens have partially bolted and are damaged from 2 nights of freezing temperatures, I will plan our Spring garden. Some professional garden designers are additionally panorama architects , a extra formal stage of training that usually requires a sophisticated degree and often a state license. Garden of Eden was made by God says the Bible and your unconscious is made by God. Because the vegetable garden could be seen from the front entry, decorative fencing was installed to melt the view. At the rear of the garden is an open exhibition area for displaying art and for holding art workshops.

With the Virgin Mary as model, we can enter into the garden of the heart where the work of our sanctification is being achieved. She even managed to make the garden Brisket-proof – that is, able to hold up to the wear and tear of their very energetic and swimming-pool-lovin’ dog Brisket. I will allow you to in on a bit ‘secret’ about an incredibly powerful methodology to start out-up a market garden – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). If you do not need to bend over whereas tending your garden then build your raised bed to a comfortable height that can allow you to have a tendency the greens with out the need to bend your again. Planted along the low sides of your garden will shoot the energy toward the world that the leaves are pointed. First of all, decide the type of vegetables you want to develop inside your garden.

Most garden sheds are bought as a flat-pack and may be put collectively in such a means you do not want to be an expert carpenter to assemble them, though restricted carpentry abilities are really helpful. Garlic bulbs ought to be planted with a purpose to keep away from animal pests that may harm garden crops.

One motive is that many flower blossoms are fairly tasty (roses, violets, nasturtiums, and so forth.) Another benefit of mixing greens and flowers in your garden is that it is good for your soil. Basically there are four steps to constructing your garden shed: basis and ground; frame; siding; roof. Smiley, a cheerful little dragonfly, has been hanging out in the garden a lot currently. Second ideas are commonest when individuals try to make a garden that’s too large.

Organic garden works greatest as a result of as you needn’t rely over pesticides, fertilizers, and chemical substances, we all know what they’ll find yourself doing to the well being of the vegetation. We thank them for his or her lengthy-time help of the Garden Bloggers …

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