Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, famously known as Chef Wan has always been passionate about food and cooking. In fact, his culinary journey first began when he was a kid. He vividly remembers how he would assist his mother, Ms. Noraini Abdullah in the kitchen to prepare food for sale after his schooling hours.
“Every night, I would help my mother to grind chillies and prepare the necessary raw material to make 400 packets of nasi lemak every day,” he continued. “I also remember helping my mother to make cakes for sale.”
Despite his hardships, Chef Wan has managed to make a mark for himself in the field of culinary arts. Recently, he was presented with the ‘Ikon Anak Felda’ award by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad at the national-level Felda Settlers Day celebration in Felda Selancar 3.
Chef Wan expressed his gratitude for the acknowledgment and hopes to inspire other children of Felda settlers. As a second generation Sungai Koyan Felda settler himself, he believes his success would motivate the younger generation to work hard towards achieving their dreams.
Speaking to Bernama, he shared – “I live a hard life when I was small, with nine siblings, my father’s meagre income could hardly make ends meet. I helped by working in the oil palm plantation and also planted vegetables for our own consumption.”
“It was the hardship that prompted me to work hard,” he added. Chef Wan now owns a successful fine dining restaurant, De Wan 1958, that serves Malay cuisine.
With over 35 years of experience, Chef Wan has proven that “where there is a will, there is a way.”
*Featured Image sourced from Robb Report Malaysia