Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Dropout to Michelin stars: The rise of a chef

Ken Chan is the first chef in Taiwan to win three Michelin stars, a far cry from his childhood dim sum days in Hong Kong

By Amber WANG  /  AFP, TAIPEI

At the time, the restaurant had only been open for a few months and Chan was despondent over the lack of customers on his first day.

“I didn’t go home that night and locked myself in the office to ponder over how to run the restaurant,” he remembers. He came up with a new menu of 27 dishes and replaced around a third of the staff as part of a major overhaul.

Chan worries that traditional skills in Cantonese and Taiwanese cooking will eventually be lost as the old masters age and young chefs struggle to create the same flavors. But for now, he says his own goal is to keep reinventing himself. “I don’t see myself as a veteran chef,” he said.

“My mentality is that I am like a child just learning to walk and I have to constantly learn new things.”

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