At various stages an intern at the NEWater Plant, a teacher and salesman, Darren Chen has through his varied experiences come to see entrepreneurship as “a way of thinking, an approach to life”.

Inspired, he masterminded gourmet food festival Savour, which brings top cuisines from around the world to mass audiences at accessible pricing. Since its debut in 2012, he has brought in the likes of Alain Passard of L’Arpege and Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez Veliz of Central Restaurante and worked with Singapore’s best, including Saint Pierre’s Emmanuel Stroobant and Artichoke’s Bjorn Shen.

Modestly dismissing the epithet of being a culinary connoisseur, Chen waxes lyrical on the subject of food, saying it “has a magical ability to bring people together, to polarise and unite in one fell swoop”.

Growing exponentially, he will stage shows in Shanghai, Chengdu and Zhuhai before the end of the year, and will take Savour to Bangkok next year. In the pipeline is also Savour World, a large-scale aggregator and incubator of restaurant concepts, which Chen describes as “Savour 52 times a year: A Disneyland for food and an El Bulli R&D laboratory on a mass scale”, which is set to launch in 2017.