Julien Royer: "A Great Chef is Only as Great as Their Team"

07 July, 2021

You mentor Kevin Wong Tat Mun, how will you challenge him?

Making it to the finals in this competition is a huge achievement; I'm extremely happy for him. Kevin worked very hard to reach this point and I just want him to enjoy the experience while he's in Milan. I'd like to see his focus on basic principles, from taste to temperature, as ultimately these can make all the difference, as well as how he tells the story and the DNA of his creations.

What advice would you give yourself as a younger chef?

The people you meet along the way are vital to your growth. Never stop learning from your peers, partners, suppliers, collaborators and fellow creators. It is important to continuously broaden your world-views and expose yourself to differing perspectives. Creating an experience is a collective effort and a great chef is only as great as the team who supports and believes in him or her, working in harmony together to create amazing experiences for our guests.

How do you think the culinary world is evolving?

I love that vegetables are taking centre stage in more restaurants. I have always believed that vegetables should not be viewed as just an accompaniment but as equals to any protein on a plate. There’s been a whole movement of people consuming a lot more consciously, taking a real interest in where everything comes from, both locally and globally. This attitude is great for the industry, encouraging chefs to take responsibility with the curation of menus and suppliers, while bringing in more engaged and participative guests. I think it is great to have more recognition for the effort that goes into this process, and how F&B establishments can better step up to play a part in this.

Chef Zhengxiang Dong

Meet S.Pellegrino Young Chef Mentor Zhenxiang Dong

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