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Singapore chefs and bartenders are creating art to raise funds for charity

The #LockdownArtists Charity Auction hopes to raise S$10,000 for The Food Bank Singapore, which experienced a 70 per cent drop in donations because of COVID-19.

Singapore chefs and bartenders are creating art to raise funds for charity

Singapore chefs Janice Wong, Petrina Loh and others are spending their time at home creating artworks for an upcoming charity auction. (Photos: Janice Wong, Petrina Loh)

Perhaps it is the ethos of hospitality that underpins their business, but despite being one of the hardest hit industries in the current pandemic, folks from Singapore’s food and beverage community keep finding ways to give back. The latest among their initiatives is a charity auction featuring artworks by well-known chefs and bartenders in Singapore.

To be held on June 20 at 4pm on Facebook, Perrier’s #LockdownArtists Charity Auction hopes to raise S$10,000 for The Food Bank Singapore through the sale of works by the likes of Janice Wong, Rishi Naleendra, chef-owner of Cloudstreet; Petrina Loh, chef-owner of Morsels; Jorge Conde, head bartender of Smoke & Mirrors; and Naz Arjuna, head bartender of Bitters & Love.

As the event’s title suggests, the works of art were created during the circuit breaker by the chefs and bartenders who used the medium as a form of expression during this difficult period. Director of PR company Food News, Ivy Woo, conceived the idea after seeing pictures of Naleendra’s paintings on his Instagram account.

“It got me thinking about how chefs and bartenders are inherently artists, and if their creativity could transcend their menus and help a greater cause at the same time,” she said.

After approaching several F&B professionals about sharing their art, Woo took the idea to carbonated mineral water company Perrier, which immediately agreed to lend its weight as presenting sponsor. They are supported by Nestle’s #AlwaysOpenForYou initiative that aims to provide aid to business partners and communities.

"It got me thinking about how chefs and bartenders are inherently artists, and if their creativity could transcend their menus and help a greater cause at the same time." – Ivy Woo

ARTISTS ANYWAY

The multi-layered works of art for sale are impressively wrought. Arjuna’s acrylic and watercolour on canvas titled When Will I Be King Again? depicts the humility that comes with an uncertain future expressed in the form an irresolute face of a lion. 

The same uncertainty is parsed in more abstract form in Mire, an acrylic on canvas piece by Phoebe Oviedo, sous chef of Open Farm Community. Naleendra’s If Thoughts Had Shapes is a futuristic Dali-esque depiction of the inner workings of the elements that shape the lives of humans.   

Mire by Phoebe Oviedo. (Photo: Perrier)

Without doubt, the works of art display another creative facet of the inventive F&B professionals, showcasing a side of them seldom seen. Head chef of Open Farm Community, Olivier Truesdale-Jutras, who contributed a glazed clay plate he calls Bogzarad, said, “Sometimes as a chef people expect you to stay in your lane and not have creative pursuits outside cooking, but that only limits you as a person, and to some extent, as a chef as well."

Bogzarad by Oliver Truesdale-Jutras. (Photo: Perrier)

"Sometimes, it’s hard to display works of creativity because there is fear of judgement. But as chefs, we put forward one of the most harshly judged creative mediums daily, so it’s easy to overcome that fear in other creative forms.”   

"Sometimes as a chef people expect you to stay in your lane and not have creative pursuits outside cooking, but that only limits you as a person, and to some extent, as a chef as well." – Olivier Truesdale-Jutras

FOOD FROM THE ART

The event’s organisers chose The Food Bank Singapore as its beneficiary as the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a 70 per cent drop in donations. “Operations and distribution activities have also been affected with dwindling volunteer involvement,” said Mathieu Marchal, senior business development manager of Perrier-Nestle Waters Asia Oceania. 

“Keeping in mind Nestle’s commitment to providing solidarity aid to business partners and communities through the #AlwaysOpenForYouInitiative, we want to do our part to help the vulnerable population by ensuring their most basic needs are taken care of.

“At the same time, we hope this initiative serves as a reminder for our friends in the food and beverage industry to continue to fuel their passion and express their creativity in the most positive way.”

"We hope this initiative serves as a reminder for our friends in the food and beverage industry to continue to fuel their passion and express their creativity in the most positive way." – Mathieu Marchal

#LockdownArtists Charity Auction will be held on Saturday, June 20 at 4pm on www.facebook.com/PerrierSG. Silent bidding will close at 11.59pm on Saturday, June 28

READ> Celebrity chef Jose Andres: 'I do believe a force for good will take over'

Source: CNA/st(ds)

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