Justin Quek Cookbook
Introduction to Passion & Inspiration Cook Book (published 2006)
Justin Quek is widely recognised as Singapore's most important interpreter of French cuisine.
Passion & Inspiration, his first cookbook, traces his transformation from a young merchant ship cook into the culinary force credited with putting Singapore on the jet-setting gourmet's map. He is now chef-owner of one of Taipei's best French restaurants, La Petite Cuisine. Through his essays and recipes, discover what drives him, what excites him and what makes him one of the world's best chefs.
Like his European counterparts, Justin trained in some of France's top kitchens, including Roland Mazère's Le Centenaire in Périgord, Jean Bardet in Tours, L'Oasis in Côte d'Azur and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Across the English Channel, he spent time with Michel Roux Junior at the Roux brother's famed Le Gavroche and Waterside Inn. But unlike his French mentors, he grew up in Singapore; his palate was awakened at an early age by the hot, sour, salty and sweet hallmarks of Asian cuisine. What he brings to the kitchen alongside his French training is his deep-rooted love for and understanding of Asian culinary traditions.
Although Chef Justin's cuisine is decidedly French (as chef to the French Embassy his cooking tasted so authentic that the French ambassador insisted on going into the kitchen himself to confirm that the chef was indeed Singaporean), his culinary style is unique. Because of his background, he is able to marry the very best French techniques with Asian tastes and sensibilities. Passion & Inspiration gives us an intimate insight into how this talented Singaporean chef has transposed French dining into first, a Singaporean and, more recently, a Taiwanese context. Justin is currently working on his latest restaurant Le Platane in Shanghai.
For me, true luxury does not equate to material possession. I believe that true luxury is something else, something which cannot be bought with money; it is sensibility. The moment I met Justin, I could tell that he was a special person who possessed this sensibility. During our conversations, this trait was always present, despite language barriers. The most laudable success of this book is not that it represents Justin's cooking, but that it demonstrates his great sensibility. Because of this, possessing this book is indeed possessing true luxury.
- Ferran Adrià
Cooking is all about passion and inspiration. So it's very fitting that the poet-artist chef, Justin Quek, has chosen those very profound words to be part of the title of his utterly stunning new book. The exuberance and creativity on display in these pages is breath-taking. If he ever decides to pick up a brush and some paint, I'll buy his first work!
- Charlie Trotter
Justin Quek is one of the greatest cooks on the planet. His food is a relection of his love of both French cooking and his Asian heritage. This is what makes his cuisine unique. Passion & Inspiration gives us fantastic insight into Justin's food. I have enjoyed his food, humour, passion and company on many occasions, and now will enjoy reading and cooking from his beautiful book.
- Neil Perry
When I first met Justin Quek several years ago, I was struck by his passion. Then, when I tasted his food, I was struck by his creativity and his sense of modernity. It is these qualities that his magnificent book illustrates beautifully. It's an essential book for every modern kitchen.
- Pierre Hermé
The name "La Petite Cuisine" never fails to bring a smile to my face (and make my heart flutter with anticipation). From appetiser to dessert, Chef Justin continues to tantalise and dazzle my taste buds with his creativity and the consistency of his work, time after time. It is a dining experience that always gets me saying "I'm definitely coming back again!" (before I even leave the restaurant).