Sunday July 21, 2019
Home Lead Story A Unique Gran...

A Unique Grandmothers’ Story Through Food For Chef Julien Royer

At Odette, we have always intentionally gone against the stereotype of fine dining as stiff and unwelcoming while presenting the very best of produce in its purest form," Royer explained.

0
//
food
I realized the kind of joy and love you can demonstrate through food. The kind of emotions that can be passed through food was the impetus for me to start cooking. Pixabay

Inspired as he was by the cooking of his grandmother, it shouldn’t be a surprise that French Chef Julien Royer, who was in India recently to unveil his magic, should be the co-owner in Singapore of a two-Michlen-star fine diner named after her.

“My grandmother Odette is one of the greatest influences in my life. Watching my grandmother cook, I realized the kind of joy and love you can demonstrate through food. The kind of emotions that can be passed through food was the impetus for me to start cooking.

“I wanted to tell stories through my food. People want comfort. Good food is always the best way to put a smile on your guest’s face,” Royner told IANS on the sidelines of the Masters of Marriott, a platform to exchange knowledge with a team of expert chefs, at which he served up a four-course repast.

vegetables
. Focus on quality and purity of ingredients remains the driving force for us. Pixabay

Royner, 35, also took the opportunity to detail his journey down the years.

“My first venture into the kitchen was under the legendary Michel Bras in (French town) Laguiole who instilled in me a respect for the integrity and purity of each ingredient in every dish.

“I then moved to Durtol (also in France), where I worked for Chef Bernard Andrieux who helped reinforce my reverence. I then traveled to London, where I was sous chef to Antonin Bonnet at Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant, The Greenhouse,” Royer explained.

Thereafter, he moved to Singapore in 2008 to take on the role of Chef de Cuisine at JAAN at Swissotel the Stamford, which received numerous accolades including 11th place on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 guide and 74 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 long list.

“Then the opportunity to open Odette showed itself and the rest you can say is history,” Royer said.

food
“My first venture into the kitchen was under the legendary Michel Bras in (French town) Laguiole who instilled in me a respect for the integrity and purity of each ingredient in every dish. Pixabay

How would he describe his singature dishes?

“Rosemary smoked organic egg, heirloom beetroot variation and Kegani crab are some of my signature dishes. I featured these from the Odette menu at the dinner in Delhi,” Royer said.

Elaborating on the Delhi event, Royer said: “What I truly loved about Masters of Marriott is that it celebrates the pursuit of consistent innovation and excellence as well as global talent. With over 5,000 chefs across 200+ restaurants in India, it provides an extended arm of exposure to renowned international chefs.”

Also Read: Food Insecurity In New York, Indian-Americans Work To Raise Awareness

At the bottom line, Royer remains a purist.

“As the dishes we serve at Odette are very much anchored by produce and tradition, we are not very influenced by trends in general. Focus on quality and purity of ingredients remains the driving force for us. At Odette, we have always intentionally gone against the stereotype of fine dining as stiff and unwelcoming while presenting the very best of produce in its purest form,” Royer explained. (IANS)

Next Story

Scientist Turned Chef Yunan Yang Ditches Lab to Experiment with Food

Yunan Yang never intended to open a restaurant when she first arrived in the United States from China 10 years ago

0
Chefs work with peppercorns shipped overnight from the owner's hometown of Chongqing, China, said Yunan Yang, the owner. VOA

Yunan Yang never intended to open a restaurant when she first arrived in the United States from China 10 years ago. Her plan was to study cancer. As a post-doctorate cancer researcher, she spent six years in Madison, Wisconsin, and worked to publish her findings in scientific journals.

She used radiation and chemicals in her research, which took a toll on her body. She said her job affected her platelet count, which made her bleed easily.

“After I (lost) two babies when (I was) pregnant, I had to make a big decision. My doctor told me, ‘Yunan, you have to write your last words (will) because we don’t have time to save you. Your body, whole body (at any) moment could be bleeding,’” Yang recounted.

For her health, and to prevent future miscarriages, Yang chose a second career as a restaurateur, moving in the opposition direction of many immigrants in the United States. Instead of entering the restaurant business first in hopes of sending her kids to college, Yang began working in the restaurant business after her life in research.

Scientists, Chef, Yunan Yang
Pepper Twins owner Yunan Yang left her career in cancer research and started her first restaurant four years ago in 2015. She now has six Sichuan Chinese restaurants throughout Houston. VOA

Her inspiration for opening a restaurant came during a trip to a conference in California, where she saw an hour-long line of hungry patrons waiting to get into a Chinese restaurant.

In Madison, the small city where her lab was located, she said “We don’t have a good Chinese restaurant.”

Yang did not start a restaurant in Chinese enclaves like many other immigrants across the U.S. She opened restaurants outside of Chinese communities, in affluent neighborhoods. In Houston, the most diverse city in America, she said its residents’ tastes in Chinese food have become quite discerning.

“American guests, they can find out which one is authentic Chinese restaurant.” Yang continued, “They travel a lot around the world. They know (what) original Chinese food looks like.”

Also Read- Why U.S. Women’s Soccer Dominates on World Stage while Men’s Game Continues to Falter

Ravi Chawda is a diner who loves spicy food. He has never been to China but knows the difference between the so-called American Chinese food and something more like what he would get in China.

“I’ve done a lot of business with the Chinese, so I’ve been to some pretty authentic places. This is by far one of the most authentic,” Chawda said.

Yang said one key ingredient in her restaurant is fresh peppercorns from her hometown of Chongqing, China near Sichuan, a province known for its spicy dishes. The peppercorns are shipped overnight to Houston and create a flavor called “mala” in Mandarin meaning numbing, tingly, and spicy.

The hometown flavors are also drawing loyal Chinese guests, such as Yan Xiang Yu, who attended university in Chengdu, a city in Sichuan.

Scientists, Chef, Yunan Yang
Some of the popular dishes at the Pepper Twins restaurant, clockwise from the upper left: Golden Eggplant (top), Spicy Persian Cucumber (right), Crystal Pudding (left). VOA

“I think the biggest highlight is they can really deliver well the ‘ma’ (numbing/tingling) feeling. The peppercorns are very flavorful,” said Yu who would eat at Pepper Twins when he craves the “mala” feeling in his mouth.

Yang started her first restaurant four years ago, since then, she’s expanded to six locations throughout Houston.

Also Read- Leaders of Texas Abandoning Proposal that Would have Essentially Banned Abortions in Their Community

Not only does Yang have a successful restaurant business, she also now has two children who inspired the logo for Pepper Twins. (VOA)