Bepar Sharief, a Bangladeshi expatriate in Singapore, learnt cooking from his mother in Bangladesh and now runs a successful briyani stall in Singapore.
"I never asked anything, I learnt by only watching her cook. She used to say boys don't need to cook," said the man from Uttar Khamer village, around 60 kilometres from Dhaka.
"In Bangladesh boys don't cook, only housewives do," Sharief says.
"In Bangladesh everyone cooks at home and we do not buy food. Most Singaporeans don't cook at home. People here normally buy food and appreciate it. Customers come up to me and compliment me for my food."
"Singapore has accepted me, I do not feel like a foreigner, I feel like a Singaporean," says the shareholder of the shop "Biriyani 47" at Yishun Block 343 Avenue 11.
"I wake up every day at 5am and reach shop at 6:30am. After that I cook for about three-four hours. I cook chicken, mutton, fish and tofu. I finish cooking by 11:20am and prepare to set up the shop. The shop opens at 11:30am. By 3:30 pm, the biriyani is sold out," says a proud Sharief.
He came to Singapore eight years ago and for eight years, he worked in construction.
He then went back to Bangladesh and went to Skill Training Centre after which he returned to Singapore where the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) transferred him to Rubens Food Company.
"Ruben asked me what my skills were. I told him that I was good at cooking. Now I am a shareholder of his biriyani shop. I did not contribute any money to start it and now I am paying him back slowly. We started the biriyani shop- Biriyani 47 at Yishun Block 343 Avenue 11. This is my life in Singapore now."
Watch the video above to learn more about Sharief's successful venture into cooking.
Copyright: The Straits Times/ Asia News Network