Passion for culinary arts inspired by her family

Ms Keisia Dominique Lim-Urquhart, the top student in her culinary and catering management diploma course at Temasek Polytechnic, said the proudest moment was when she competed in the WorldSkills Competition last year.
Ms Keisia Dominique Lim-Urquhart, the top student in her culinary and catering management diploma course at Temasek Polytechnic, said the proudest moment was when she competed in the WorldSkills Competition last year. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Growing up in a household with a Peranakan mother and grandmother who were always cooking in the kitchen, it was only natural for Keisia Dominique Lim-Urquhart to pick up cooking skills.

The 19-year-old said: "It's something that I have been exposed to from a very young age."

So when it came to selecting a course in polytechnic, she naturally opted for the diploma in culinary and catering management. The Temasek Polytechnic course not only fired up her passion for cooking but also deepened her appreciation for gastronomy, and the food and beverage (F&B) industry.

She said: "We did wine and beverage in school. We also learnt about starting an F&B business... It has been really fulfilling to be offered opportunities in both service and the kitchen."

On May 3, Ms Lim-Urquhart, the top student in the course, received the Lee Kong Chian Award. She also received her diploma with merit on Thursday last week.

She said the proudest moment in her polytechnic journey was when she competed in the WorldSkills Competition last year.

The long training hours taught her time management and how to become more disciplined. She clinched a bronze medal in restaurant service.

She said: "It's not so much about receiving the award, it's the feeling that my fellow competitor, the coaches and I have all gone through such a rough time together and we managed to achieve something, and that was very fulfilling. I was really grateful for the opportunity."

In August, she will begin her studies for a Bachelor of Business Administration in food business management (culinary arts) from The Culinary Institute of America at the Singapore Institute of Technology.

Her passion for cooking is what drives Ms Lim-Urquhart.

She said: "I can't quite explain, but the adrenaline rush when I am in the kitchen... I have never lost it. It is something that is always there and it pushes me to keep going.

"I really think that passion will see you through to wherever you want to go."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2021, with the headline Passion for culinary arts inspired by her family. Subscribe