HE went from a high-flying legal counsel earning more than $6,000 a month, to a lowly kitchen helper earning $800 a month - more than an 80per cent pay cut.
Ask Mr Willin Low about eating humble pie and he reminisces with a knowing smile and some fondness.
He quit his job of eight years in 2004 to fulfill his dream of becoming a chef and owning his own restaurant.
Mr Low now owns Wild Rocket restaurant and Wild Oats bar, both located at Mount Emily.
Click to see larger image
Speaking to The New Paper on Sunday at his three-month-old bar, he said: 'When I first quit my job as a legal counsel about three years ago, I got a job at Garibaldi's, chopping garlic, washing dishes, that sort of stuff.'
As he was a self-trained cook with no experience in the food and beverage industry, the aspiring chef and restaurateur had to start from scratch.
He was there for six months.
'I did wonder before I started whether I'd be able to swallow my pride if needed, as I was essentially starting from the lowest position in the kitchen, when I was already quite established in my law career.'
With an apartment mortgage to support on the meagre pay, Mr Low had to do freelance law consultations for various companies after work in order to pay his bills and for his everyday expenses.
As a kitchen-helper, the days were certainly long - 'they were 14 to 16-hour workdays in the kitchen, after which I worked from my laptop at home', but as it turned out, Mr Low 'loved it', even though 'I was tired all the time, had no social life and the hot kitchen can be stressful place for a newbie'.
GAVE UP $6,000 SALARY
'At some points, I wished I hated it because then, I would have been able to put my dream of opening a restaurant to rest and go back to being a lawyer,' Mr Low said, with a laugh.
When he quit his job of eight years in 2004, Mr Low was already earning more than $6,000 a month.
But even when he was still practising law, the law degree holder from the University of Nottingham in the UK would offer his services as a private chef on weekends.
'I would cook for private dinners at other people's homes and my colleagues would be my waiters and waitresses,' he recalled.
Finally, when he saved up enough to start Wild Rocket with two silent partners, he realised there were a lot of other challenges.
'We had to look for suppliers from scratch, build relationships with them and basically meander through a lot of government processes during our start-up phase,' Mr Low said.
Now, with his restaurant doing well, Mr Low takes on a more managerial and creative role.
And although his salary is still only half of what he used to make in the corporate world, he's starting to enjoy little perks in life, like his spanking new white Suzuki Swift which was delivered on Friday.
'Looking back, I would've been intimidated had I known the full extent of what it took to realise my dream. So, maybe it was a good thing I didn't know that much then,' MrLow admitted.
'But really, I'm the kind of person who would rather regret what I've done than what I've not done.'