'I washed toilets': celebrity chef Fazley Yaakob reveals humble beginnings


Now a restaurant owner, Datuk Fazley Yaakob continues to mop floors, wash plates and clean toilets at his latest food joint. Photo: Filepic

There's a certain glitz and glam that comes with the title of "celebrity chef".

But Datuk Fazley Yaakob, who won the cooking reality series MasterChef Selebriti Malaysia in 2012, is not afraid to fold up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.

Fazley, 42, recently posted a snippet of himself wielding a mop at his restaurant Minang Tapau, which specialises in Minangkabau cuisine.

"A chef and restaurant owner mops floors too? Why not! Today, Minang Tapau reopened after relocating to a bigger space in Bukit Damansara. It's been a busy day of preparing menus, arranging tables and chairs, cleaning floors and even washing toilets," he wrote in the Instagram post.

"Many people may not know this: When I was a university student overseas, I washed toilets and there were times I even had to scoop up vomit and excrement from the floor and toss it into the toilet bowl.

"I've worked as a mascot, dressing as a bunny while selling coffee. I've sold herbs at a night market and I was a pump attendant at a petrol station."

Fazley, who is now the proud owner of two restaurants – SukaSucre Bistro and Minang Tapau, adds:

"So when you become a restaurant owner, what's the big deal with mopping floors, arranging tables, washing plates and cleaning toilets on your own?"

Prior to his culinary career, Fazley came into the spotlight as a singer, recording five albums between 1995 and 2005, which gave birth to hits like Asmara Ini.

Owner/Chef pun mop lantai?! Why not?! Hari ini restaurant jenama ke-2 saya @minangtapau dibuka di tapak yang lebih luas di #BukitDamansara Memang agak sibuk kami semua menyediakan menu, susun kerusi meja, bersihkan lantai dan malahan mencuci tandas. Mungkin ramai tak tahu, sebelum2 ni, antara kerja-kerja yang saya pernah buat: Mencuci tandas di luar negara sampai terpaksa kaut muntah dan najis manusia di atas lantai untuk dimasukkan ke lubang tandas (semasa bergelar pelajar universiti), menjadi mascot pakaian arnab sambil jual coffee (sampai kena ludah di muka dengan kahak hijau), menjual pucuk2 muda dan daun2 herba di pasar malam dan juga menjadi Pam Attendan stesen minyak. Jadi apabila menjadi pemilik restaurant, apalah sangat kerja2 mop lantai, mengemas meja, mencuci pinggan, dan juga mencuci tandas. Apa lagi kerja2 yang korang pernah buat sebelum ni? Share boleh?

A post shared by Dato' Fazley Yaakob (@fazleyyaakob) on Jul 13, 2020 at 6:20am PDT

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