Creating Social Impact
& Delivering Memorable Experiences

Join Us in Making A Positive Difference in Singapore Today!

About Food Playground

Food Playground is a hands-on cooking school offering cultural cooking classes and corporate team building workshops since 2012. We operate out of a pre-war heritage shophouse in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown, and have a unique social mission of providing flexi-work employment opportunities for stay-at-home mothers and active seniors who have limited avenues to return to the workforce. Being a social enterprise, we empower these women through structured training in facilitation and public speaking to develop them into confident culinary instructors and event facilitators. We invite you to join us in this meaningful cause while meeting your objectives of having an unforgettable cooking experience with us.

Our signature Cultural Cooking Class offers a cultural immersion experience for travellers and expatriates to learn more about Singapore’s food heritage, while our customized team-building programmes like Corporate Cooking Challenge and Amazing Chinatown Heritage Race help organizations bond and achieve various corporate objectives like assimilating new team members, breaking down silos, enhancing creativity and learning.

We believe that food forms an important part of culture and part of the joys of traveling is to be able to appreciate local food from a local's perspective. We want visitors to our cooking school to walk away not only knowing more about the Singapore food culture and heritage but also with more motivation and "courage" to try out local cuisine.

Food Playground is consistently ranked the Top Activity in Singapore on Tripadvisor, and is featured and recommended in Lonely Planet Singapore guidebook. Our flagship Cultural Cooking Class programme is the recipient of the 'Best Learning & Travel Experience' at the 2013 Singapore Experience Awards. Our commitment to go the extra mile for our customers has also been publicly recognized when we were awarded the prestigious 'Singapore Service Excellence Medallion' in 2015.

Our Team

Daniel Tan Profile Photo

[ Founder ]

Daniel  is deeply passionate about creating social impact by creating meaningful flexi-work employment opportunities for stay-at-home mothers and active seniors.

The inspiration to set up Food Playground came from Daniel's adventure travels across South America and Southeast Asia in 2011. He had the opportunity to learn how to cook Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian and a variety of Latin American cuisine during his travels, and discovered that cooking classes enabled him to dive deep into a country’s local culture by connecting with locals and tasting local heritage food.

Prior to starting Food Playground, Daniel spent more than 10 years in the travel and hospitality industry and has a proven track record in brand-building and general management. His career highlights include management stints in Singapore Airlines, Valuair, Ascott and Pan Pacific Hotels  Group, as well as an Executive MBA with University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Helen Teo Profile Photo

[ Culinary Instructor ]

Helen began her casual cooking affair about 25 years ago. From the humble beginnings of cooking simple meals for friends, her interest and love for cooking gradually grew. Largely inspired by both her Teochew mum and Peranakan mother-in-law, Helen subsequently grew her repertoire to include dishes unique to the South-East Asian cuisine. Growing from strength to strength, she has mastered peranakan and local chinese recipes ranging from kueh ko swee, pineapple tarts and kueh lapis to mee siam, meat dumplings, laksa and local favourites like bak-kwa, steamed pumpkin cakes and meat dumplings. She is well versed in numerous dishes from both western and local cuisines, many of which were brought down by through family traditions.

For leisure, Helen enjoys spending time with her family and friends over a meal. As an instructor, Helen hopes to impart her love for cooking to everyone she meets. 

Lesley Lim Profile Photo

[ Culinary Instructor ]

Growing up with grandmothers who were  excellent cooks, Lesley has always been drawn to the kitchen. Having a mum  who’s an avid baker helped ignite a love for baking. Lesley’s 10 years stint in  neighbouring Malaysia gave her the luxury of time to develop her passion in  cooking and hone her craft.

Lesley had been a stay-at-home mum for 16  years until she joined the team in December 2013. Food Playground is truly a haven  for her to return to work in a familiar environment, i.e. the kitchen. The best part of the job is that she gets to engage in her favourite activity: cooking.  

Lydia Soh Profile Photo

[ Culinary Instructor ]

Lydia started cooking since she was eight. Under the influence of her mother, and with her years of experience in the IT industry, cooking has become a science and a passion for her daily explorations. To Lydia, cooking is much like balancing an equation. It’s about the chemistry and magic that works wonder with the combinations of natural ingredients, in a variety of cooking methods. With a keen eye for details and a sharp palate, she has expanded her repertoire of dishes from traditional Chinese dishes to Malay kueh, local hawkers fare, bread, cakes and pastries.

If you meet Lydia at one of our classes, you will probably hear this exuberant instructor saying, “Remember the smell, the taste, the texture, the colour…recreate the experience.’ and have fun!” 

Mary Ng Profile Photo

[ Culinary Instructor ]

Mary's love for cooking was triggered at a tender age by her mother's deep-rooted Teochew culinary traditions. Besides perfecting her craft in traditional Teochew favourites, Mary enjoys cross-cultural food exploration, often trying out new dishes that feature influences from various countries.

Past experiences in sales and organising MICE travels has given Mary an edge to inject fun and meaningful culinary experiences to every class she conducts at Food Playground.

Going forward, Mary aspires to become a prominent Singapore Ambassador through sharing Singapore's food heritage and culture with visitors from around the world.

Lydia Soh Profile Photo

[ Culinary Instructor ]

Born in Singapore to Chinese parents, one of Lois' fondest childhood memories is helping her mum make Chinese Hokkien dishes like Ngoh Hiang for Lunar New Year celebrations.

After 12 years working in corporate travel services, Lois got married and moved to Europe with her husband. It was then that she began experiencing seasonal local produce and improvising Asian recipes to satisfy her innate cravings. At the same time, Lois started her own food diary in Facebook, so as to share her cooking experiences with family and friends back home.

Being a typical Singaporean, Lois loves to talk about food and share recipes, hence working with her fellow team-mates and every participant who walks into the cooking studio, has been a great joy. 

Join Our Team

Unlike other culinary schools in Singapore, we have a very meaningful social mission that underlies the way we operate at Food Playground. We provide dignified employment for stay-at-home mums and active seniors who can contribute to our team, either as cooking instructors, kitchen helpers, or simply a member of our administrative team. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that stay-at-home mums and senior citizens have in our society, but in many instances there are limited avenues to engage these talents and integrate them back into society.

Our team of culinary instructors and facilitators absolutely love our friendly flexi-work arrangements and the opportunity to pursue their passion in the work they do, rather than merely working for a pay check. Here's your opportunity to join our fun-loving family. We are currently on the lookout for stay-at-home mums and active seniors who are passionate about cooking to join us in the following positions: 

Culinary Instructor Thumbnail

Culinary Instructor, 
Cultural Cooking 

1) Loves to cook and is especially proud of her culinary skills in either Peranakan cuisine or Asian food at large;
2) Believes that cooking is fun and wants to share her passion for cooking and food with many people;
3) Can multi-task well i.e. talk and cook at the same time;
4) Enjoys meeting people and sharing her personal stories with others;
5) Is proud to be a Singaporean/ Is proud of Singapore’s food heritage;
6) Is a self-professed foodie and loves to go grocery shopping or visit the wet market.

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Culinary Facilitator, 

1) Has previous corporate experience in either HR/Training/Sales;  
2) A fun-loving individual who loves to plan and host events;
3) Has some basic cooking experience, i.e., basic knife skills, knows her way round a kitchen and can cook at least a decent meal for her family;
4) Loves all aspects of cooking, including food preparation;
5) Believes that cooking is a great bonding and social activity;
6) Available to work on weekday afternoons and evenings.

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Digital Content Writers

We are looking for freelance content writers to research and write highly engaging content to be used on our website and social media platforms. These stories will cover the latest trends in food, tourism, culture and things to do in Singapore etc.   If you have excellent writing and/or editing skills and a passion for digital media, this is the perfect position for you.

1) Strong writing skills & excellent command of English, both written and oral; 2) Knowledge of SEO, experience in digital media and copywriting/Journalism experience will be an advantage.

If these qualities describe you well, we love to hear from you today. Please get in touch with us at

What The Media Says

Do you know that our hands-on cooking programmes have been extensively featured and recommended in Singapore's mainstream media and regional travel publications? Click on below articles to find out what the media have to say about our programmes: 

Business Times Logo

Play With Your Food

"It's more than just learning how to cook. It's spending time to cook with your colleagues and like-minded people. Everyone will be engaged and have a meaningful time..." 

TTG Mice Logo

TTG Great Cook Out: 
A Case Study

"The kitchen represents a microcosm of the working world, with deadlines, decision-making and collaboration necessary to succeed...”

Straits Times Logo

Cooking classes with a social mission

"The classes are designed to fulfil a greater purpose - getting to know Singapore better through learning about its food culture, or promoting team-building - not just to teach people how to cook."


Happy Employees & More Profits

"The cooking classes offer visiting groups a more local and familial team-building experience..."

BEA Logo

Food Playground uses fun fare for team-building

"During the entire three-hour course, everyone discussed, planned, took turns and helped one another despite the different paces..."

MIX Logo

Food For Thought

"Food Playground offers groups the chance to cook their way to a Singaporean cultural connection..."

Our Awards & Accolades

Singapore Experience Awards Logo

Singapore Tourism Awards

Our signature Cultural Cooking Class is the recipient of ‘Best Learning & Travel Experience’ from the 2013 Singapore Tourism Awards.

Service Medallion Logo

Singapore Service Excellence Medallion

We have been awarded the prestigious ‘Singapore Service Excellence Medallion’ for pushing the boundaries to deliver highest levels of customer satisfaction and organisational service excellence.

Viator Travel Awards Logo

Travel Awards

We are a proud recipent of the 2015 Viator Travel Awards for receiving top ratings from travellers who book through Viator and Tripadvisor.