It is a strange phenomenon where men dominate in commercial kitchens but the home kitchen is usually the realm of women. This has to be why the success of Lanshu Chen, awarded the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2014, has attracted so much attention. I visited her restaurant during a self-driving trip across Taiwan that I treated myself to recently and had the pleasure of sampling Chen’s distinctive cooking style. She marries Taiwanese i ngredients and dishes with modern French techniques; her foie gras with aged salted radish, for example, took a sensitive palate to put together. I l oved how her creations stimulate the senses and fully showcase a woman’s softer side, a valuable quality in any kitchen.
I have been surrounded by capable women all my life: my mother, my nieces, my socialite friends whom I meet frequently i n the course of my work and my co-workers who proofread my work to ensure that no errors go to press. Like Chen, these women are detail-oriented in a way that men are not. This i s one clear example to me of how men and women are not exactly the same when it comes to professional capabilities and how the two sexes are fundamentally different.
Our i ssue this month i s dedicated to women of distinction, i ncluding this year’s Asia's Best Female Chef, Margarita Fores; property guru Ong Chih Ching; renowned l awyer Stefanie Yuen Thio; and hospitality queen Yenn Wong. They are all modern women whom I greatly admire; their sense of boldness and decisiveness should no doubt draw copious beads of sweat from the foreheads of lesser men.
Speaking of boldness, look at the women in Saudi Arabia who took part in l ast year’s elections which were open to women voters and candidates for the first time. How courageous are the female politicians who stood and won, in a country where women are forbidden even to drive.