Friday 29 January 2016
Lanshu Chen fuses her Taiwanese roots with classical French cooking to create a very personal and original style of haute cuisine. Lanshu first learned to cook at a young age at home in Yilan, a small town in the northern Taiwan, with her grandmother and mother.
After studying Foreign Literature at the National Taiwan University she moved to Paris to pursue her passion for cooking. After obtaining the Cer tificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle in cuisine from the French School of Culinary Arts and a diploma in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu, she went on to work for some of the best chefs in Paris including Les Ambassadeurs with chef Jean-François Piège and Jérôme Chaucesse, Relais d’Auteuil with chef Patrick Pignol and in the atelier of legendary Pâtissier Pierre Hermé.
After interning at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California, she returned to Taiwan to open her own restaurant Le Moût. Taichung, on the central western coast of the island of Taiwan that lies east of mainland China, is a bustling city famous as a centre of industry and a central travel hub. Many travellers will stop over in the city before heading off to explore the island’s mountainous interior, but clued-in foodies will make a beeline for Le Mout.
With its gold mirrors, intricate crown mouldings, crystal chandeliers, velvet chairs and antique French furniture, Le Mout’s grand dining room wouldn’t look out of place on the Rue de Rivoli. Chen takes an almost philosophical approach to her cuisine: “I am looking for a new way to interpret what I have learned and felt. It’s as though to create a culinary map that belongs to myself and to Taiwan, and as my thought wanders, the birth of each dish is just like the extension of every step in my life.”
Chen plates dishes such as duck egg with chestnut porridge, chanterelles and garlicalmond crumble or boneless short ribs and bone marrow with octopus, coffee and baby turnip with exquisite precision and attention to detail, raising simple ingredients to gastronomic heights.
Chen’s imaginative and sophisticated approach to local, seasonal cuisine, supplemented by some of the best produce in the world has led to her being named Asia’s best female chef by Veuve Clicquot and Le Tout ranking number 26 in the current Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Lanshu Chen's Obsession 16 Menu:
HAM CURED HALIBUT TARTAR, PORK LIVER, PLUM GEL, POTATO CHIP
Sancerre, Chavignol, François Cotat, Loire Valley, France, 2011
PRESSED CONFIT OF FOIE GRAS, DIMENSIONS OF RADISH, RED BARLEY
Pinot Gris, Lismore, Ata Rangi, Martinborough, New Zealand, 2014
BLUE LOBSTER, CABBAGE, RAVIOLI AND BISQUE
“Hildegard”, Bien Nacido, Au Bon Climat, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 2012
BEER-FED DEXTER SIRLOIN, VEAL TONGUE, FIG, ONION, WHITE CURRANT
Numanthia, Toro, Spain, 2009
Moscato D’Asti, Pio Cesare, Piedmont, Italy, 2013