Red Cross Home for the Disabled chefs serve up food from their hearts
After working for two years at a five-star hotel in Switzerland as a management trainee chef, Glynn Maung joined the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) to cook meals for the disabled.
Since 2014, the Singaporean chef of 15 years has been cooking for residents and staff at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled (RCHD), leading a team of five other chefs.
RCHD is a residential home that provides round-the-clock care for people with multiple and severe disabilities, including cerebral palsy and mental retardation.
Today is World Red Cross Day, and when The New Paper spoke to Mr Maung recently, he said his desire to help the residents actually came about when he noticed the rising incidence of food wastage among consumers in general.
He said: "I wanted to use my skills to help non-governmental organisations and give good food to the less fortunate."
Mr Maung and his team currently cook for 177 residents and staff.
These include 33 residents on a full diet, 35 on a soft diet and 18 who need a pureed diet as they have difficulty swallowing.
Another 11 residents require nasogastric tube feeding, which sees food passed from the nose to the stomach through a flexible tube as they cannot chew or swallow.
The home has 80 staff.
From cooking fine-dining dishes such as beef tenderloin roast with red wine sauce in Europe, Mr Maung now cooks simple meals such as fried rice and pasta at the home.
Food for the residents needs to be prepared extremely finely, ensuring that it is in tiny bits so they can swallow easily.
Said the head chef: "I also cut down 30 per cent to 40 per cent of their sugar and salt intake."
Mr Benjamin William, SRC's secretary-general, said front-line staff such as Mr Maung and his kitchen crew provide residents and the caregiving team with nutritious and appropriate food.
Mr William, 62, added: "Their dedication and passion for humanity shines through, especially during this period as they continue to do their utmost for the vulnerable in our midst."
Mr Maung added that cooking at the home has been an enriching experience, one that he hopes to continue doing.
He said: "When you see the residents enjoying themselves and smiling, it brings joy to everyone.
"They may not be able to tell you 'thanks', but the way they laugh and smile while being fed, it is good enough."