An Interview with Say Saophoan, Topaz Restaurant Staff Canteen Head Chef

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Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Say Saophoan. I was born in Tbaeng village, Andong Kneng commune, Rolea Pha Ear district, Kampong Chhnang province. Currently, I am working at Topaz restaurant.

What’s your background?

I have been working here since 1997. First I was a kitchen cleaner. Later, I became a Commis and was cooking food for Topaz Restaurant guests.

Four or five years later, I became a cook in the staff canteen where I prepared meals for between 30 to 50 people daily. Then Topaz was growing bigger and bigger as notice. In the beginning, I couldn’t cook enough food to cater to so many people. I’m thankful that I was trained very well by the Head Chef. He encouraged and motivated me so I felt more comfortable with my work and inspired me to continue my career at Topaz.

How would you describe your current position?

My responsibilities are cleaning the kitchen area and cooking staff meals with my team. Previously I was the lone chef, now I have a team of four helping me.

I usually start work at 7:00AM and prepare meals for all Thalias staff at Topaz, Khéma La Poste, Khéma Pasteur, and Khéma Norodom. Everything must be done before 9:30AM. At 10 in the morning, all food will be delivered to each outlet.

From noon to 1:00pm, I prepare everything for the staff’s dinner to be ready at 3:00PM.

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