Prestige 40 Under 40: Jeremy Nguee, chef-owner of Preparazzi, co-founder Mrs Kueh
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Jeremy Nguee

38, CHEF-OWNER OF PREPARAZZI, FOUNDER OF BATU LESUNG SPICE COMPANY AND CO-FOUNDER OF MRS KUEH

A deep‐seated love of food motivated Jeremy Nguee to launch not one, but three food concepts: Gourmet caterer Preparazzi; Batu Lesung Spice Company (co‐founded with Norhuda Rabani), which sells traditional South‐East Asian spice pastes that are ready to be used straight out of the packet; and Mrs Kueh, which pays tribute to Nguee’s mother by selling kueh salat based on her original recipe. “I love how food connects people from different cultures and backgrounds,” he says, “as well as how it goes beyond mere geographical spaces, connects us with our past and lets us give to our future generations.”

The father‐of‐one is passionate about preserving Singapore’s traditions and heritage through food, doing so in fun and innovative ways. For instance, he works with the Straits Clan to present Asian flavours in a contemporary format, and organises The Kueh Kueh Symposium, a fair that celebrates traditional Singapore snacks and their makers. “I’m just doing my small part to move the needle on the perceived value of our heritage foods,” he insists. “It’s mind‐ boggling that people are willing to pay $8 for a Western interpretation of ondeh ondeh in cake form, while original ondeh ondeh sells for three for $2.”

What Nguee has achieved so far hasn’t been easy, but he says he’s living his dream every day and that all the hard work is more than worth it. “I hope to be remembered as someone who has left the F&B industry a better place. And I would like more people to be appreciative of the time and effort our hawkers put into their craft, and to be willing to pay a commensurate amount for their work.”