A street vendor in Singapore is being recognized as one of the best chefs in the world.

For over 100 years, the Michelin Guide series has represented the gold standard for fine dining all over the world.

If you've never been to a Michelin-starred restaurant, your imagination has probably conjured up something like this:

If you knock those napkins over you feel like you're about to be arrested. Photo via iStock.


You might be seeing tablecloths, candles, and menus with words like "reduction,"  "consommé," and "foam." Your dishes are tiny yet mysteriously filling "deconstructions" served "over" this with a "drizzle" of that. You walk away feeling less like you had a meal, and more like you just had your tastebuds wistfully guided through a symphony of flavor, texture, and harmony the likes of which you may never be able to experience again. Mostly because you can't afford it.

In recent years, however, the Michelin-star experience has been changing.

Many have criticized the Michelin company and its rating system, saying it's too biased or its methods too secretive, or that it's just generally not an accurate measure of the planet's "best" restaurants, as it claims to be.

British chef Gordon Ramsay isn't just a loudmouthed reality show host. He has 16 Michelin stars. Photo by Gerry Penny/AFP/Getty Images.

Yet the Michelin star remains a coveted symbol of excellence for chefs all over the world. They work toward it, fight over it, and clammer for it like nothing else. It's their Nobel Prize.

In response to some of that criticism, Michelin has been expanding its reach to include food from more and more corners of the globe.

One of the most recent inclusions is Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation most known (culinarily speaking) for its street food.

A street vendor in Singapore. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

The streets and markets of Singapore are filled to the brim with so-called "hawker stalls" — tiny, intoxicating food stands serving up spicy, savory, sticky, fried, baked, and steamed flavorful bits of magic. The stalls are a national treasure in Singapore, and they're slinging out some of the best food that money can buy.

Singapore just became home to the first Michelin-starred street vendor in the world.

In a tiny park neighborhood called Outram, sits a hawker stall called "Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle."

Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

It's run by Chan Hong Meng, a Malaysian born, Hong Kong trained chef whose chicken, pork belly, rice, and noodles have been known to create three-hour lines around the block in Singapore for years.

Meng recieved a phone call from Michelin in July 2016, inviting him to a gala. He was surprised, to say the least.

"Are you joking?" Meng recalls in a video for Michelin. "Why would Michelin want to come to my stall?"

Chan Hong Meng at work in his stall. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

They weren't joking, and they awarded him one of the highest honors in all of food.

Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

The Michelin guide's expansion into Singapore represents a significant shift in what is widely considered the "best."

For decades, Michelin-starred food was synonymous with "expensive." Now you can get a Michelin-starred dish for under $2. That isn't just affordable ... it's symbolic.

Chef Meng winning his Michelin star. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

The standard-bearers for what counts as "fine cuisine" have begun to recognize that the best food in the world is not limited to Western countries, or to posh restaurants with tablecloths and napkin towers.

You can find culinary and cultural magic in the hidden corners of the world. You can find it in the smoke-filled markets where chefs are serving simple cuisine on paper plates to massive hungry crowds.

You can find it wherever you look. You just have to be looking for it.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."