被誉为“美女厨师”、“厨界女神”，台湾名厨陈岚舒清秀瘦削的外表下，有对美食的坚持，以及对厨艺的精益求精。Beneath Taiwanese chef Chen Lanshu’s gentle appearance lies a steely commitment to excellence in her cooking
陈岚舒是国立台湾大学外文系毕业生，后远赴法国追求美食梦，到Le Cordon Bleu、Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts等名校学习，先后与多位名厨共事，如Thomas Keller、Jean-Francois Piege等。陈岚舒以独特创意和“尊重食材”的理念，擅长将天然色泽与甜味，花香与果香入菜，加 上诗意般的摆饰，很快声名鹊起。
2012年，乐沐通过Relais & Chateaux的评选，成为全台唯一通过评鉴的“杰出餐馆”。陈岚舒更是全球首位以法式料理受Relais & Chateaux肯定为“杰出主厨”的华人，同时也是全世界第一位获得该荣誉的亚裔女厨。2014年，她获“亚洲50最佳餐馆”颁发的“亚洲最佳女厨师”奖，锦上添花。
“我觉得，懂得欣赏生活的细节，才能成为更好的厨师。因此，我重视学习，会安排团队成员一起出国旅行，浸濡学习，像之前我们来新加坡到Odette、Corner House、Les Amis等餐馆，或到海外不同餐馆实习受训。完成学习后，我要求他们演示汇报，设计新菜品。虽然有人说我这样做不符合商业考量，但厨师丰富生活及厨房经验，有助创意。”
If you mistake demure Taiwanese chef Chen Lanshu for a literature teacher, you are not alone. Although, it is not technically wrong to call her a teacher — the 36-year-old executive chef and founder of renowned fine-dining French restaurant Le Mout, in Taichung, describes her kitchen as a school where her team is constantly learning and improving themselves.
Outside the kitchen, she has also worked tirelessly to educate diners in Taiwan about French cuisine and fine dining. She said: “Ten years ago, people thought French cuisine was all about foie gras, duck breast and black truffles. They were not familiar with the concept of fine dining and the service personnel also lacked relevant experience. I went through a period of time where I had to constantly offer guidance on things like ingredients and training front-of-house personnel.”
She gave this interview while she was in Singapore with her husband, brand partner of famed French luxury ceramics brand Legle, and their seven-month-old son. Legle has teamed up with Julien Royer, executive chef of local Michelin two-starred restaurant Odette, to launch a new ceramics collection called Espace.
Chen graduated from National Taiwan University with a degree in foreign languages and then travelled to France in pursuit of her dreams, training at famed schools like Le Cordon Bleu and Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts, and subsequently working under famous chefs like Thomas Keller and Jean-Francois Piege. She founded Le Mout in 2008.
Her culinary principle is to respect the ingredients that she is working with, combining the natural colours and flavours of the ingredients with the fragrance of locally sourced fruits and flowers in her dishes. This, together with her artistic plating methods, helped her to quickly make a name for herself on her debut.
Le Mout has not only won accolades in Taiwan; it also became the only restaurant in the country to be admitted to Relais & Chateaux in 2012, making Chen the first Chinese chef working in French cuisine as well as the first female Asian chef to be recognised by this collection of gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels. And in 2014, she earned another feather in her cap when she was named Best Female Chef by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
On the secret to her success, she said: “From the very beginning, I placed a strong emphasis on kitchen management and made sure that the kitchen was able to run on its own. Teamwork is very important but my team members are also trained to know how to handle matters independently. This way, the team will be able to deal with any situation even when I am not around.”
Because of her graceful appearance and svelte frame, she has often been given labels like “chef beauty” and “goddess of the culinary world” by the media. However, being a female chef meant facing greater challenges in finding work-life balance compared to her male counterparts. She said: “When I started my business, I put in 100 per cent of my time and energy, naively believing I’d soon be able to open a second outlet. Looking back now, I realise that some things don’t happen before they’re supposed to; things happen in their own time.”
Today, balancing the demands of career and family is something that comes naturally to her.
Although a chef’s working hours are long, she tries to carve out some times for herself to rest and recharge, and fire up her inspiration for new creations. She likes to read before turning in for the night and also listens to music.
“I feel that one can only become a better chef if you learn how to appreciate the details in life,” she says, adding that she and her team travel overseas together for culinary immersion, and they also train at various restaurants abroad.
“After they complete their training, I ask them to turn in a report in the form of a new dish. Some have said my approach is not a very commercially viable, but chefs who enrich their life and kitchen experiences become more creative.”
Infini by chef Chen Lanshu