Late last year, the writer Jules Quartly, emailed me out of the blue to see if I would be interested in discussing the fine dining scene in Taipei with him for an article in Topic magazine's annual wine and dine issue published by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei. Jules found my blog and liked some of my posts about the restaurants in Taipei. I responded to Jules that since I only go to a handful of restaurants in Taipei, I might not have much to offer. He wasn't concerned with my limited knowledge so we arranged a time to talk.
I often found that people who like to eat also like to talk about what they eat; I am no exception. I shared my thoughts with Jules over the phone and some of which are in his article, Reserving a Seat at the World’s Fine-Dining Table. Frankly, I don't remember I said so much until I read the article. Below are a few of my one-liners:
On Western food in Taipei: “It’s a bit like eating Chinese food in Manhattan. You’re not getting the real thing most of the time, so there’s a limited number of places to go to.”
On the possibility of Michelin issuing a Red Guide for Taipei: "If Michelin can’t make it work in L.A., I don’t know how it will work in Taipei."
On the lack of visibility for Chinese chefs: “The chef in Chinese culture doesn't have such an elevated position as in the West, where over the past 20 years or so they have become celebrities like artists and rock stars. In Chinese restaurants, you often don’t even know who is cooking the food.”
On chef Angelo Agliano: "big fan of".
On the limited revenue generated from wine: “We [Taiwanese] didn't grow up drinking wine with meals, that’s why the business model here is so much more difficult.”
On L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and chef Oliver Jean: "setting the standard around town."
On three-star restaurants in Taipei: "doubts there is a true three-star restaurant in Taipei yet."
In the article, I was described as an architect, foodie, and blogger. While the word "foodie" has been used for over thirty some years, I was never comfortable with it. Also, for the longest time I always tell people that I am not a real blogger since I don't write much. Nevertheless, the two basic needs of human – food and shelter – are where my interests lie.