Hubert Burda Media

The A-List Cookout Projects: David and Anthony

Over the past few months, our A-Listers have been hard at work with their personal projects in a bid to raise funds. This, and the proceeds from the Cookout happening on the 5th of December will go towards securing a fresh food truck for Foodbank Singapore. This week, we managed to catch up with two of our industrious A-Listers, David Wee and Anthony Southam, to have a chat about the progress of their projects.

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So David, can you let us in on what your project is and why you chose it?

Well, my project is to run 21 kilometers weekly over a period of ten weeks and raise $10,000 in donations by getting clients and friends to donate through social media. I chose this project because of my love for running. I’ve been running marathons for about eight years now. It started as a hobby but I’ve been getting serious about it in recent years. So I feel it’s the best way I can give back to society- within my means, of course.

Does it take a lot to prepare for a marathon?

Oh yes, definitely. It takes about four months or so. You also have to start every build-up for a marathon from scratch. It’s both a psychological and physical thing. So you start with lower mileage runs and gear up for longer runs later on. I just did a three-hour run yesterday so my legs are still a little wobbly.

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Running a half marathon weekly is quite a daunting task. How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going every week?

That’s a good question. I actually have a training buddy who runs with me. We pace each other, push each other and sometimes even challenge each other! We also have a strict program that we stick to religiously, so that helps too. What really matters is having someone to rely on.

Apart from your training buddy, do your friends and family play a role in motivating you?

Absolutely! They all know about my project, so they are constantly pelting me with questions like “How was your run?” or “How are the donations coming along?” So there’s constant pressure from them as well. But it’s good!

Do you have a favorite healthy snack as part of your training regime?

Ha! I usually have western. I try to get as much protein as possible to help with muscle recovery. As long as it’s not deep fried or extremely terrible for my body then why not?

What do you think of Foodbank’s fresh food truck idea?

I think what they are doing is amazing. I personally feel that there is a lot of food wastage in our society and if someone is taking up a project to tackle it, I think we should help them build some awareness. We live in such an affluent society that wasting half a plate of rice doesn’t even matter. So I think the project they are doing is important and deserves more awareness.

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Anthony, we hear your project was a huge hit! Can you tell us a little more about it?

Sure! So in thinking of what to do to raise money for the food truck, I thought about how I could put my skills, experience and network to good use. Earlier this year, I went to the Burning Man festival in America and all of my friends wanted to do a party afterwards. This is usually referred to as a decompression party. I decided to be the organizer for this party and utilizing the networks we had, we were able to make this party a platform to raise funds for Foodbank. It was held at the end of October, in the same building where Kilo is. We were given permission use the sixth floor so we created a nightclub in that space for one night!

Burning Man is a rather odd name for a festival. Care to shed some light on what the festival is about?

So Burning Man is an annual festival held in the Nevada desert. It’s a festival of art, music, creativity and expression. It’s very unique because it works on a gifting economy. You can’t compare it to any other festivals around the world. It’s been going on for 30 years and every year they build a city in the desert out of nothing. It’s just the most amazing and heartwarming experience! It’s great to see humans express themselves that way.

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How did you keep yourself motivated to do this project, considering you already lead such a busy life?

It was quite easy actually! Firstly because I love DJing. Secondly, all my friends were working on this together so it kept me motivated. We really wanted to do this for the community because it’s a very unique party. All of us were very struck by the spirit we saw at Burning Man. Especially the music- which you won’t really get to hear in Singapore. So motivation was never really an issue because I was looking forward to playing that music here for the first time. We as a group really believed in our intention for the party and we delivered. It was a really amazing event!

Part of the Cookout is about promoting healthy eating. Personally, how important is that aspect to you?

Extremely. I’ve been taking my diet seriously for about twelve years now, since I started going to the gym regularly. You can go to the gym or play a sport often but it’s a combination of exercise, rest and diet that’s really important. I have followed a strict diet for years. I’m a pescetarian, so I don’t eat meat. I also don’t eat dairy products anymore. I’m even thinking of becoming a health coach. Healthy eating is something very important to me, so you’ll rarely find me at a hawker center!

Considering you’re a person who appreciates creative ideas, what do you think of Foodbank’s idea of a fresh food truck?

It’s an excellent idea! It makes total sense to me. When you’re dealing with food donations, a lot of the time it’s going to be nearing the end of its shelf life. So it’s very important to be able to refrigerate it and be able to distribute it quickly. Personally, I think the more food trucks out there, the better. I’d like to see or maybe even be involved in signing up more restaurants and hotels to contribute to that project because I think it’s a very worthwhile one. There is so much wastage in the hospitality sector!

Naturally, we’re glad to see that both David and Anthony’s projects are going so well. Stay tuned for more updates about our other A-Listers’ projects. If you haven’t already gotten your tickets to the Cookout, grab them here! Don’t miss out on an opportunity to enjoy good food for a good cause.