Whether they’re creating award-winning sparkling wine from indigenous Taiwanese grapes, devising innovative ways to reduce food waste in Singapore or reinventing traditional Sichuan chilli sauce, these chefs, mixologists, food critics and entrepreneurs are keeping us excited about Asia’s food and beverage scene.
WHY HIM? The author of more than 10 books about wine and a contributor to countless newspapers and magazines, Yusen is Taiwan’s leading wine critic and has even been described as the best wine critic writing in Chinese. NEXT ON HIS PLATE Yusen is working with winemakers on the third edition of Buvons Nature Taiwan, the first fair dedicated to natural wines in the country, which takes place at the end of this month.
WHY HER? After graduating from Harvard Law School, Liz quickly realised that life as a lawyer wasn’t for her and returned to her first love, food. She began her blog, Self-Taught Gourmet, in 2011 and quickly became one of the most respected food writers in Taiwan. THAT’S NOT ALL Liz recently launched Taster, an online food media platform that industry insiders say is likely to become the Eater of Taiwan.
WHY HIM? Thomas worked under Joël Robuchon in Paris before returning to his hometown of Kaohsiung to open his eponymous restaurant, which serves elegant French food made with fresh local ingredients. THAT’S NOT ALL Aside from its food, the restaurant is famous for its guest chefs. In recent years, several chefs of Michelin-starred restaurants have travelled to Taiwan to cook with Thomas, among them Alain Passard and Pierre Gagnaire.
WHY HIM? The son of Gloria Hotel Group chairman Chen Jin-liu, Fudy grew up in hotel kitchens and dining rooms and quickly developed a love for food and drink. After training in Michelin-starred American restaurants such as Per Se and Manresa, he turned his attention to the origins of ingredients and returned to Taiwan to establish an organic farm just outside Yangmingshan National Park. It supplies his Taipei restaurants—TK Seafood & Steak, and L’idiot—as well as many others. THAT’S NOT ALL East End, one of the bars owned by Fudy’s family and the only one in Taiwan to collaborate with the renowned Japanese mixologist Hidetsugu Ueno, was listed in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2017.
WHY Him? Chien-hao is the winemaker behind Moscato Oro Vino Fortificato, a fortified wine made from Taiwan’s golden muscat grapes that has won multiple awards and is served in several Michelin-starred restaurants. THAT’S NOT ALL An experimental project with Glenfiddich saw Moscato Oro Vino Fortificato casks used to finish Scotch. All 301 bottles of Glenfiddich Vino Formosa Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky “Spirit of Taiwan” were snapped up by collectors before the official release earlier this year.
WHY HER? With her late father, Ben Yang, who was chairman and CEO of Sinon Corporation, Vivian founded Taiwan’s Weightstone Vineyard Estate & Winery to create a fine sparkling wine out of indigenous grapes, something some critics said couldn’t be done. The naysayers are now eating their words. Vivian’s wines have been represented at leading international competitions since 2016, including the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge. In April this year, the quarterly magazine World Finance named Weightstone one of the world’s most innovative and business-savvy producers in its Fine Wine Report.