Despite 2017's gloomy economic outlook, Mr Joshua Khoo, co-owner of home-grown French restaurant chain Saveur, is still raring to leave his mark on the local culinary scene.
The 32-year-old will be renting a hawker stall at Amoy Street Food Centre as a personal venture, where he hopes to serve up Western cuisine that can be eaten as daily fare by the masses from February.
"The economy is not doing well, but hopefully this can bring some value to people, who often see Western food as something they will eat only on a special occasion," said Mr Khoo, a finalist for the 2015 edition of The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award.
Being nominated for the award has established the Saveur brand, he said, and inspired him to contribute in his own ways.
"When I tell people about Saveur, they will say that we are doing something good for Singapore," he said.
Another former finalist in 2015, ultramarathoner Lim Nghee Huat, plans to repeat his feat of running 320km across England to raise funds for hospice patients.
He managed to raise more than $160,000 for HCA Hospice Care and came in fifth in the Ultra Great Britain Run last year.
Now that he is familiar with the route, he hopes to better his performance .
"Last year, I got lost many times but I want to make the most of the chance to run the route again and contribute to HCA," said the 63-year-old media producer.
The Singaporean of the Year award is back for the second time and more than 3,600 votes have been cast as of last Friday morning for the 12 candidates shortlisted for the award .
Supported by UBS Singapore, the award seeks to recognise Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map, persevered through great adversity or made Singapore a better place through selfless acts.
Stories and videos on all 12 finalists are featured on The Straits Times website and readers can pick their choices for the winner before voting closes at 6pm on Thursday.
The finalists include security officer Peter Lim Kok Seng, 54, who donated 60 per cent of his liver to a 16-year-old girl, and Mr Jabez Tan, 42, an ex-convict who founded social enterprise Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh to help others who have been released from prison reintegrate into society.
One reader wrote of Mr Tan: "Talk about giving second chances to others... Mr Tan has come a long way since his younger days. The fact that he continues to help ex-offenders and tries to make a difference makes him their hero and also (that of) Singaporeans ."
Another reader was touched by Mr Lim's actions, commenting:
"It takes tremendous courage and generous love to donate your organ to someone you do not know...he has shown us (the true virtue) of selflessness."
The results from the public vote will be taken into consideration by a panel of 15 judges.
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on Feb 6.
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the guest of honour.
Vote for who you think should be Singaporean of the Year at str.sg/soty2016