Fresco 'supper club' was launched on Friday, 20 November by Grade 12 boarder Shen Ming Lee, who offers a three course set menu featuring fresh vibrant food with a unique twist, served in the beautiful gardens beside Kurt Hahn House on Dover Campus. The central idea is to bring the UWCSEA community together to share an experience through good food.
The initiative was devised by Shen, who hopes to help Chin Myanmar refugee children who are waiting for relocation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 100% of the profits from Fresco will be donated to CSO Malaysia, which offers both academic guidance as well as moral support to Chin refugees from one of Myanmar’s most marginalised ethnic minority groups. Shen explains her motivations:
"I decided to use a restaurant business to raise funds for the Chin Student Organization (CSO) in Malaysia. In light of the recent migrant refugee crisis in Europe, not many are aware that Myanmar refugees have been seeking shelter in Malaysia for many years. Being Malaysian, I wanted to contribute to contribute in a positive way, and provide opportunities for young Myanmar refugees to learn skills that will prepare them for future jobs. My mum is active in the philanthropic sector in Malaysia, thus she suggested CSO, an accredited organization affiliated with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. All profits from my Fresco dinners, after I have financed the ingredients and other variable and fixed costs, go directly to the organisation.
I was inspired to start Fresco upon hearing about a university student from Colombia who started a restaurant in his dorm room (see this link). For Fresco, between six and eight people attend each evening and supper club dates are scheduled around my availability, since I am the only operator and owner of Fresco (I'm a sole trader!). When developing Fresco, I received a lot of guidance from my houseparent Simon Dean and day parent June Choy—in the early stages, I shared my idea with them and they both supported me to help make Fresco happen.
The idea behind Fresco (meaning 'fresh' in Italian) is to create fresh, healthy yet sophisticated dishes that use only the freshest produce, and I devised my menu around these criteria. I test each dish, to make minor tweaks to my original recipes. My dinners feature herbs fresh from the UWCSEA garden and I buy other ingredients on the day of the dinner."
The supper club offers a three course set menu; the initial series of dinners in the weeks prior to Christmas were booked out, and the next scheduled Fresco nights will be announced in Term 2; the first of the new season dinners will be held on Saturday, 27 February. Email with any inquiries.
During the Chinese New Year holiday week Shen visited the Chin Student Organization (CSO) school in Jalan Imbi in Kuala Lumpur and was overjoyed to be able to donate the proceeds of Fresco's Season 1 dinners—RM1200 (SGD400)—to provide glasses for some of the children in need of assistance due to poor eyesight.
Congratulations on the success of the Fresco Supper Club - follow on Instagram.
Pictured below are the dishes on the Season 1 menu of Fresco. Shen is currently working on a new menu for Season 2.