As kids we were told to always try our best, that it doesn’t matter what we decide to do in life as long as we do it with passion. Humans are curious by nature; we are constantly learning and growing, and within that growth comes improvement.
Whatever your job, you always have a dream, a maximum aspiration. A journalist would love a Pulitzer prize, a physicist dreams of making a discovery that will win him or her a Nobel prize, and so on.
But now imagine you achieve your dream despite starting from the humblest beginnings. This is what happened to a street food vendor in Singapore, who received a Michelin star.
Michelin stars are a rating system used by the Michelin Guide to grade restaurants on their quality. The Guide was originally developed in 1900 to show French drivers the locations of local amenities such as restaurants and mechanics. Single-star ratings were first introduced in 1926, with the second and third stars introduced in 1933. According to the Guide, one star signifies “a very good restaurant”, two stars “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”, and three stars “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey”.
After that explanation, it’s even more outstanding that Chan Hong Meng’s $1.50 (£1.15) chicken slathered in a Hong Kong-style soy sauce has received a Michelin star.
Perhaps never in his wildest dreams did Mr Meng think he would reach this culinary milestone; he was just doing what he loved, going about his day-to-day life.
Since winning the award, Mr Meng has seen a boost in business. He now prepares an additional 30 chickens per day for guests who wait several hours for a taste of the famous food.
So, next time you’re thinking to yourself “why should I bother?”, remember the street food vendor who now stands shoulder to shoulder with world-famous chefs, despite operating with not even a quarter of the means.