First time restaurateur, Claudia Sondakh, launches Plentyfull in August 2016 with a vision: to create a place of restoration by providing honest, hearty meals. It all started in 2014, when newly-married Claudia was toying with the idea of attending Le Cordon Bleu, Paris’ premier cooking school, with the goal of opening her own restaurant. Her husband, Evan, advised her to work in a restaurant kitchen instead to get a genuine feel of the industry.
Her internship at Capella Singapore started that year with a rotation in all the kitchen departments from hot kitchen and banquet to pastry. She was so absorbed in the adrenaline that she went back to work on her first day off after two weeks. She subsequently stayed on in the pastry kitchen under the tutelage of Pastry Chef Sam Chek Yong, whom she views as an inspiring mentor to this day.
During her one-and-a-half-year stint at Capella Singapore, Claudia experienced several memorable and challenging moments, including working alongside Chef Reine Samut from Michelin-starred restaurant, Aubergela Fenière, in the south of France during her first week of work at the hotel as well as cutting out 400 “leaves” to build a 2.3-metres high wedding cake.
Prior to this, Claudia was already a news figure in the local fashion business scene when she was co-owner of multi-label boutique Retail Therapy as well as a cofounder of the luxury resale business – Robe Raiders – that has merged with The Fifth Collection.
Her life took a turn a few years back when she saw a homeopath for her chronic sinus problems and fatigue. Her husband’s food intolerances that include gluten and dairy made her all the more determined to create a concept that serves as an option for people to eat well without compromising on taste.
“With people being so busy nowadays, we don’t have time to eat at home or cook for ourselves like before. I want to provide a home-cooked meal for them away from home. At Plentyfull, we use quality ingredients you can trust and take the time to make things for you to enjoy, so you don’t have to,” shares Claudia.
Her ultimate goal is for Plentyfull to instill mindfulness among people on what they put in their bodies, and for them to understand that food that is good for them can taste delicious, too. “I also want to remind people of why the first restaurant in history was created – to bring nourishment and refreshment to the weary. Restaurant means ‘to restore’ in French, and I hope to offer this nourishment of body and spirit to everyone who visits Plentyfull.”