Community cooking initiative launched at Tanglin-Cairnhill carnival

Senior Minister of State, Ministry for Law and Ministry of Education Indranee Rajah (right) having a reunion lunch with 140 elderly in the Tanglin-Cairnhill Constituency on 13 February 2013.
Senior Minister of State, Ministry for Law and Ministry of Education Indranee Rajah (right) having a reunion lunch with 140 elderly in the Tanglin-Cairnhill Constituency on 13 February 2013.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Chicken curry, brinjal masala and sweet beancurd were among the dishes on offer at a Tanglin-Cairnhill SG50 carnival on Saturday, which saw the launch of a new grassroots initiative to encourage a potluck, or sharing, culture among neighbours.

The Community Let's Cook programme saw eight residents appointed "cooking ambassadors". Besides preparing and supplying food to yesterday's carnival, these residents will go on to cook and share food with neighbours at monthly block parties.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Ms Indranee Thurai Rajah said that while previous grassroots events in her area usually relied on catered food, she hopes the home-cooking initiative can bring the neighbourhood closer together .

She said: "Cooking allows everyone to pitch in. We want to set up potluck occasions where everyone can bring down their own dishes. That way you have a kind of kampung spirit, you regenerate that feeling of strong community."

Artist Akira Takahashi, 66, is looking forward to his new role as a "cooking ambassador". "I like to see people enjoy eating," he said. "I hope to be able to test fusion recipes on my neighbours."

The carnival also saw 200 youths from the Henderson Community Club Youth Executive Committee and Crescent Girls' School baking 300 pieces of traditional "huat kueh", a Chinese steamed cake, for elderly residents.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg