It’s been a whirlwind few months for Zander Ng, the inaugural winner of MasterChef Singapore.
On the night of the Oct 22 finale where he faced off culinary student Genevieve Lee, “we were doing a big viewing party with all the contestants, our family and friends,” Ng, 31, tells 8 DAYS in a phone interview.
After the results were announced, the Australian-Singaporean recalls “staying on for a few drinks and then [returning home] to prepare for back-to-back interviews [the next day] on CNA and countless radio shows.”
Then he was off to the culinary world where he kept himself busy with as many diverse projects as he can during his year-long sabbatical from his day-job as an IT manager. “I’m keeping my options open,” says Ng, who's still mulling over opening his own restaurant.
“I would really need to commit myself to the industry and working in a restaurant for a long period of time before I even think about [running my own joint]," says Ng. "It’s still a bit far away from me."
And speaking of spending a long period of time in a restaurant, Ng has yet to start on his internship stint — one of his MasterChef Singapore prizes — with judges Damian D’Silva and Bjorn Shen.
“The offer is still there,” Ng adds. “Both judges say that if I wanted to do it, I absolutely can.” Until he’s ready, Ng is having a blast doing pop-up events and workshops. Sometimes he'd even do a TV show — like the one he just did on CNA’s On The Red Dot: Chef Mission special.
On the four-part docu-series, Ng travels to Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia, and Wales where he meets a group of altruistic Singaporeans and learn how they're transforming lives there with their humanitarian activities. He also gets to make for them some sumptuous Singaporean food.
Here, he lets 8 DAYS in on how he got the hosting gig, how the show has affected the way he cooks, and the occasional perks of being a MasterChef.
1/51/5Doing his part: Zander Ng in Ilo, Ilo, Philippines in 'On The Red Dot: Chef Mission'.
2/52/5All ears: Ng in a counselling session with Singaporean volunteer Shareen Williams in Wales.
3/53/5Top of the world: Ng, the first winner of 'MasterChef Singapore'.
4/54/5Say cheese: Ng and his 'MasterChef Singapore' contestants with Marco Pierre White.
5/55/5Great outdoors: Gordon Ramsay in his new series 'Uncharted'.