My journey from doctor-trained chef to a 'chef-trained' doctor. The accidental chef becomes the incidental chef.
A recent conversation with a doctor friend made me realised that I have unknowingly made a transition from being an 'accidental chef' to an 'incidental chef', or putting it another way, from being a doctor-trained chef to being a 'chef-trained' doctor. Or to be more precise, from a doctor turned civil servant turned consultant turned entrepreneur turned CEO turned doctor-trained chef turned CEO-trained & Chef-trained doctor., although the reality is really that I am just an ordinary untrained home cook thrusted into the role of a chef, but people seem to like to label me as the doctor turned accidental chef.
he story of the many adventures in my colourful and eventful career is best told through the blog post I wrote about how the successes I found in the many adventures in my career would not have been possible without my wife >>> 'Behind every successful man is a long-suffering wife'
For those of you who do not know me and have not read my other stories. Here are some related blog posts that would fill you in :
>> Doctor turned Accidental Chef - How it all began.
>> The birth of The Bento People
>> How & Why I became a Food & Health Coach
>> Why & How advocating healthy eating became my purpose, mission and passion
The Incidental Chef or The 'Chef-trained' Doctor.
The past couple of years, up till recently, I had been working full-time as a chef and that my training as a doctor had been useful whenever I needed to create new healthier dishes for the restaurant, so it was appropriate then to call me the accidental chef or the 'doctor-trained' chef .
But I now no longer work as a chef full-time. Now, on top of still being fully involved in and responsible for maintaining and creating the menu for the restaurant, I spend the rest of my time as a doctor and my focus is to encourage, educate, enable people change their lives, maintain their wellness & regain their health through lifestyle & dietary modifications. Although I did not have the chance to go to culinary school or have any proper training as a chef, I have had to learn on my own and learn on the job when I was accidentally thrusted into the role as a chef a couple of years ago and this experience I had as a full-time chef has now come in very useful in my work with my patients on lifestyle and diet modification plans. I find I am better able to appreciate the need & challenge to winning over patients' ingrained palates as much as the need to winning over their minds and hearts when getting them to make the necessary changes to their dietary habits to regain their health. My experience working in the kitchen and in creating dishes and recipes is now also put to use whenever I need to help give practical advice to my patients on how to change their eating habits.
These last few years working in the food business has not only amplified my awareness and knowledge of the power of food to destroy or heal our bodies but also seeded in me a passion and a mission to tell & teach more people about that and also to help them maintain their wellness or regain their health through food. Realising that I can do that a lot more, and a lot more effectively as a doctor than as a chef led me to cutting down the time I now spend working as a chef so as to be able to spend more time as a doctor, whether it is as a doctor teaching at the :Lifestyle Medicine training and consultancy company (see >>> Engines of Health website) or as a doctor working in my clinic ( see >> my clinic website )
A doctor friend recently quipped that I am no longer the accidental chef that I have been the past few years but should be more accurately renamed the incidental chef or the 'chef-trained' doctor instead and I realised she was right. My work as a chef is now incidental to my work as a doctor, food & health coach and teacher, I now mainly cook and create new dishes with specific goals of wanting to help convince and convert my customers, coachees and even patients to switch to specific healthier ingredients in their diet.
When I first became a full-time chef, I was constantly grumbling to God, asking God why with all my years of training and experience as a doctor and corporate leader that I had to waste all that to work as a full-time chef, constantly wondering if I was making a huge mistake. But now, my experience as a full-time chef has allowed and led me to become a better doctor, coach and teacher to help people improve their lifestyle & diet to better prevent or manage their chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and other conditions where food has a clear significant role. things I would never had imagined doing or to be able to do before. So regardless of whether people see or call me a doctor, chef, teacher, doctor turned chef or chef-trained doctor, it does not really matter to me. What matters to me more is that this journey has reinforced my faith that regardless of what new unexpected twists or adventures that life throws up, no journeys ever wasted. God's ways are higher than our ways, indeed.
- Waking people up to
The Power of Lifestyle to Heal & Destroy, helping them to maintain wellness & regain lost health through informed lifestyle & food choices
>> My Lifesytyle Medicine Medical Practice
>> The School of Lifestye Medicine
>> The Bento People
Why & What I Blog about
Blog's Top Posts
Lifestyle as Medicine - my journey, my passion, my pain
How & Why I became a Lifestyle Medicine Doctor, Trainer and Advocate
Doctor turned Accidental Chef turned Incidental Chef
Reflections of 'The Food Doctor'
How I lost weight 'accidentally'
Doctor turned Accidental Chef - How it all began
The birth of The Bento People
I made this Tom Yum Daikon-'noodles' because I was 'angry' with how the love for noodles was affecting one of my patients.
No wasted Journeys -
Why I Blog
Buay Chye, God & I. The day God sent me a cook.
Behind every adventurous man is a long-suffering wife
How I accidentally left a legacy as a 9 year old boy
The day blogger Leslie Tay (ieatishootipost) came to visit
The accidental marathoner
- how I accidentally ran the marathon when I was 12
They call me a Maverick.
I say I am an Explorer.
Why & How 'Advocating Healthy Eating' became my purpose, mission & passion.
Sharing about the power of food on Diabetes Lifestyle magazine