As chef de partie (line cook) in the pastry team of Swissotel The Stamford, Carina Tan, 26, is involved in making elegant pastries for all the hotel’s outlets — including the petit fours for one-Michelin-starred contemporary European restaurant, Jaan. But with tourism and the F&B scene grinding to a halt with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, she found herself being redeployed out of the pastry kitchen — and into a supermarket. “It’s a government scheme that allows us to remain under employment of the hotel and continue to draw our full salary, while working in essential services,” shares Carina. Her responsibilities, however, could not be more different from the work she used to do as a chef. Since April, she’s been working at Cold Storage supermarket six days a week from 8am to 3pm, stocking goods and replenishing items on the shelves. Working in a completely different job was tough initially,” says Carina, who had to face some irate panic-shoppers during the lockdown. “But I am also grateful for it as many people started losing their jobs or had to take a pay cut,”

“The time at the supermarket has been short, but I now have an even better appreciation of being in a job where I get to do what I enjoy and love — it is a luxury that not many people have,” says Carina, who is happy about returning to the kitchen this week.

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