Singapore food hall offers to hire migrants being bused to NYC from Texas and Florida

New York Daily News/TNS
·2 min read

A Singapore food hall in Manhattan is offering more than just delicious fare.

Moved by images of migrants being bused into the city, the chefs and owners of the stalls at the soon-to-open Urban Hawker are also offering jobs.

Singaporean celebrity chef KF Seetoh, who brought over 11 established chefs to operate at the food hall which will open at the end of September, posted on Instagram Sunday that the Singapore hawkers “are happy to hire them if they are keen and allowed.”

“New York and America gave us this opportunity and we are passing it on,” his post continued.

A recent influx of Latin American migrants have flooded the city, sent over by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican. Fleeing violence and economic devastation in their home countries, many of them crossed into Texas from Mexico.

Their plight caught the attention of Seetoh and the other Singaporean chefs.

“Migrants are merely folks seeking a better tomorrow. They need jobs in this land of opportunities,” Seetoh told the Daily News Sunday.

The 14,000 square-foot space, on W. 50th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. in Midtown, is run by food hall operator Urbanspace and will house 17 stalls with a seating capacity of about 200.

Urban Hawker’s menu will introduce diners to Singapore’s hawker cuisine, which was recognized by the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO for its cultural significance in 2020. Hawker food like chicken rice, prawn noodle soup and Singapore’s signature crabs dish will be served.

Almost all of the 17 stalls will need a few assistants, Seetoh said, adding that the chefs will teach the relocated workers the “lifelong skills” of being an expert in a particular dish and being an entrepreneur .

“It’s not an overly complex task; one just needs to work hard,” he said.

As for how the food hall can get connected with the newly displaced families, he said he hopes news of the stall owners’ offer will reach Mayor Adams.

Immigration lawyer Allan Wernick said that while the chefs’ offer is nice, the migrants will have to apply for asylum first. “They can apply for work permission 150 days later, and will qualify for the work card 180 days after filing for asylum,” he said.