Crowned as The Best Restaurant in Asia 2019 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants list by Restaurant magazine and awarded two Michelin stars within a year of its opening, Chef Julien Royer is the principal player behind Singapore-based Odette's success. Crossing over to Bali, Chef Julien collaborated with Chef Chris Salans from Mozaic Restaurant -- one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 and the first restaurant on Southeast Asia to be recognised by Les Grandes Tables du Monde -- for a recent "Childhood Memories" dinner. After enjoying a dinner that combined the best in nostalgic memories and the acquired skills of both award-winning chefs, Indonesia Tatler caught up with Chef Julien to find out more about him and the collaboration.
Tell us about your journey as a chef
Growing up with the love and affection of my grandmother, Odette, many fond memories of my happy childhood are still vivid today, especially when it comes to her cooking. These are unforgettable memories for me -- when she made the whole house smell so good with her redcurrant jam, for example, which was cooked with long and slow simmering. She made sure that the food was not only prepared well, but also infused with love.
Thanks to her, I learned how to respect produce, and to approach cooking in a singular and simple fashion, and to elevate each ingredients as if it were a piece of art. I was also lucky to be mentored by some of the greatest chefs around the world, especially the legendary Chef Michael Bras during and invaluable apprenticeship.
What sets Odette apart from other restaurants in Asia?
Odette was born as a tribute to my grandmother and her philosophy of simplicity and soft femininity. With the help of our talented and dedicated team, we set out to tell a story that revolves around quality produce prepared by honest cooking. Coupled with our fine hospitality, this story resonates powerfully with so many around the world.
How did you come to collaborate with Chef Chris Salans from Mozaic Restaurant for the 'Childhood Memories' dinner?
I'd been to Bali around four to five times because I love the island: its unique atmosphere and the warmth of the people. There I went to Mozaic and met Chris, one of the most well-established chefs in Southeast Asia and a pioneer who introduced French cuisine with Indonesian touches to Bali. I thoroughly enjoyed the dishes he created and found that Chris's masterful use of spices that blend Balinese touches with his French cuisine is inspiring and amazing. We are also part of the same association -- Les Grandes Tables du Monde -- so we share a lot of similar values when it comes to fine dining and les arts de la table.
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