Meet the Team: William Soh, Executive Chef
LONGITUDE: Hello Chef! You were recently invited by the People’s Association to head the preparation of four traditional desserts at the CNY Garden Party @ Istana, hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. You even met President Halimah Yacob. That must have been quite an experience.
EXECUTIVE CHEF WILLIAM SOH: It certainly was! I wasn’t told that President Halimah would visit, only that a VIP was coming. We interacted for about 25 minutes. I showed her how to make tang yuan (rice balls) and explained the significance of the dish for Chinese New Year. She then attempted to make it herself. Finally, she tried one that I’d made earlier. She loved it. She even posted about the event on Facebook. It was a proud moment for me–a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m very fortunate.
It seems you were even recognised by several ONE°15 Members at the event.
Yes, there were some Members on the VIP guest list and they were surprised to see me. I got the chance to engage with them and I asked them what they would like to see more of at the Club.
You’ve introduced innovative new concepts, such as the Spanish buffet and Heritage buffet, since you came on board in May 2017. How do you come up with new ideas?
It’s important to understand what our Members need. I concentrate a lot on Members’ requests and what is on trend. You have to know what people are looking for. You have to have a good balance of local and international food. I also made the buffet line longer and added more value items.
What are you some of your responsibilities as Executive Chef?
I take care of the daily operations for all the F&B service and I oversee about 40 staff. We look after the LATITUDE Bistro, WOK°15, banquets, catering services for the yachts and charters, as well as wedding functions and special Member events.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
The first thing I do is check my email when I get to work at around 6am. Then I make the rounds. I check the breakfast quality, the fridges to see what is not utilised, the hygiene and sanitation of the work area. I will also check to see if there are any special events for the day. In between the meal services, I attend meetings and do my paperwork. There are two Cook Up a Storm events coming up.
Do tell us about your involvement with that.
The first event is a cooking class. It’s an opportunity for mothers to bond with their children as they learn to cook together. I will demonstrate how to make two dishes, then the participants will replicate them. I will then judge the best dishes and the winning team will get a prize. The best part is, they can bring the experience home to try out in their own kitchen. We hope to inspire kids to cook for their mothers during special occasions. The second event on is for junior cooks, where the participants will learn how to garnish a dessert.
What excites you when you think of your job?
I always ask myself, what can I do better than yesterday? For example, if I made char kway teow yesterday, I will make it better today. I’ve been making char kway teow for over 18 years, but there’s always room for improvement.
Get a taste of Chef William’s cooking at any of our F&B outlets:
- WOK15 Kitchen – Award-winning Cantonese Cuisine Restaurant
- LATITUDE Bistro – Asian & Continental Delights (for Members and hotel guests only)
- Boaters’ Bar – Singapore’s Only Floating Bar Serving Drinks & Bar Bites
- HELIOS93 – Coffee, Tea and Food-on-the-go