Asia’s leading chefs and bartenders discuss identity in Asian gastronomy at #50BestTalks

Giulia Sgarbi - 28/02/2018

Header images, clockwise from left: Hiroe Higuchi; André Chiang; Vijay Mudaliar; Long Xiong, Richie Lin and Kai Ward

50 Best’s thought-leadership series #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, returns with its first event for 2018 as part of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards programme in Macao. The region’s top restaurateurs and bartending talent will gather for a series of stimulating talks and discussions around the topic of identity in Asian cuisine, hosted at Wynn Macau on Monday 26th March.

“#50BestTalks: exploring identity” will see the chefs behind Taipei restaurant Mume – Richie Lin, Long Xiong and Kai Ward – share the stage with Hiroe Higuchi, one of Japan’s leading female chefs; acclaimed bartender Vijay Mudaliar of Native bar in Singapore; and the newly crowned winner of the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award – Asia 2018, Chef André Chiang. Find out more about the speakers and the programme…


Richie Lin, Long Xiong and Kai Ward, Mume, Taiwan

Forging a fresh culinary identity in Taiwan

Mume chefs Richie Lin, Long Xiong and Kai Ward; pork ribs with an aged miso and plum glaze, nasturtium capers and chervil

Hong Kong-born Richie Lin met Australian chef Kai Ward in Sydney, where they worked at Peter Gilmore’s legendary restaurant, Quay. While staging at Noma at Copenhagen, Lin met US chef Long Xiong and the three cooks joined forces in 2014 to create a restaurant that celebrates the quality and diversity of Taiwanese produce while using modern European and new Nordic techniques. Mume, their debut restaurant in Taipei, entered the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017 at No.43. Lin, Xiong and Ward will talk about the process and challenges of creating a fresh culinary identity in Taiwan, while giving the audience a taste of their unique cuisine.


Hiroe Higuchi, Shima Kanko Hotel, Japan

Sustainability, Japanese produce and French influence

Chef Hiroe Higuchi and her lobster creation at Shima Kanko Hotel

At the age of 23, Hiroe Higuchi was already running French restaurant Alcazar in Hotel Shima Spain Mura. Since then, she has led a number of prestigious hotel restaurants in Japan and in 2014, Higuchi became executive chef at Shima Kanko Hotel in the Ise-Shima region. She was the first female chef to be honoured for a role in local gastronomy in the Ryori Masters 2017, a national award system that recognises chefs who have popularised Japanese food and culinary culture. Higuchi will speak about sustainability and the winning combination of Japanese produce with French technique.


Vijay Mudaliar, Native, Singapore

Asian sourcing, Asian mindset

Vijay Mudaliar and team at Native; mango lassi

Young talent Vijay Mudaliar is already one of Asia’s most acclaimed bartenders, having received a host of accolades in the region, including Bartender of the Year at The Bar Awards 2017. He is the founder of Native bar in Singapore, which made its debut in 2017 onto both Asia’s 50 Best Bars and The World’s 50 Best Bars – the sister lists of Asia’s and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Native’s unique cocktails use plenty of foraged ingredients, from jasmine blossom to turmeric leaves and crunchy ants, with many products found just metres from the bar. Mudaliar will talk about the significance of locally sourced produce in the creation of an Asian mindset while giving a live cocktail-making demonstration.


André Chiang

Live interview: the next chapter

Chef André Chiang and frozen white truffle disc

Recently recognised by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy as the winner of the prestigious Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2018, Taiwanese chef André Chiang started his career almost 30 years ago in France, where he trained with some of the continent’s best chefs including Pierre Gagnaire and Michel Troisgros. Upon moving to Singapore, he led the opening of Jaan par André at Swissôtel The Stamford, then opened his own Restaurant André in 2010, which reached No.2 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 list. Chiang will take part in a live interview with Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Group Editor William Drew, during which he will discuss the closing of Restaurant André earlier this year, his famous ‘Octaphilosophy’ and his future plans.


The sixth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be announced at an awards ceremony held at Wynn Palace in Macao on Tuesday 27th March. Follow Asia's 50 Best Restaurants on Facebook and The World's 50 Best Restaurants on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news, photos and videos.