Getting a Michelin star is a pretty big deal for any chef. It’s like the Oscars of the culinary world! Thus, if a chef is awarded a Michelin star, it means they are a pride to themselves, their families and their country.
Bringing pride to our country is none other than Ipoh-born Kwen Liew, who just became the first Malaysian female Michelin star chef! Not only that, she is also one of the two women to have earned the star this year (2018), reported Business Insider. Wow!
She was awarded her first Michelin star for her restaurant ‘Pertinence in Paris’, along with 57 other restaurants who were also awarded their first Michelin star in the annual Michelin Guide France 2018.
Even though Kwen Liew’s restaurant was opened in March last year (2017), it still had earned her a Michelin star last February 2018 despite being less than one year in the business. Her restaurant must be really up to par.
Right now, the restaurant is run and owned by Kwen Liew and her Japanese husband, Ryunosuke Naito. They serve mainly classic French cuisine cooked with unconventional Japanese techniques. Ah, Asian-Western fusion, the magical combo!
When asked about their food, the Michelin chef described their food as “carefully and expertly transforming market-fresh ingredients into succulent French dishes, brushing away cobwebs of tradition along the way.” So eloquently said.
Nevertheless, Kwen Liew’s journey wasn’t always easy. During an interview with wire agency, Kwen Liew said that in the male-dominated culinary world, women will always have to prove that they are twice as good as men just to get their team listen to them. That’s a lot of work!
According to her, her solution to that is to act like a man in the kitchen. You go, sister!
“It depends on the mentality of the personnel, but (in general) men do not listen to women, they say, ‘We don’t give a damn what she says’,” she explained.
Well, it is good that she managed to break the mentality.
Previously, Michelin had always been criticised for the lack of diversity amongst the Michelin star chefs. However, Michelin responded by attributing its lack of diversity to the small number of females in the culinary world. We sure hope it doesn’t stop with Kwen Liew as more women should be awarded a Michelin star!
Kudos to Kwen Liew for making Malaysia proud! We wish her all the best with her restaurant and hope that she continues to get more Michelin stars as she grows as a chef!
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