Behind The Apron: Julien Royer (JAAN | Swissotel The Stamford)

Time is a luxury that Chef Julien Royer can’t afford. The Chef de Cuisine at JAAN shares that he would like to cook more often for his wife and friends. It is not hard to see why. Since attending cooking school at the age of 17, the native French chef has built up an impressive resume with stints at Michelin-starred restaurants in France and trainings under famous names in French cuisine such as Antonin Bonnet, Bernard Andrieux and the legendary Michel Bras. More recently, he was the Chef de Cuisine at Les Saveurs at the St. Regis in Singapore.

Since helming JAAN, Chef Julien and the restaurant have earned numerous nods from the culinary world including being named Rising Chef of the Year 2012 at the World Gourmet Series Awards, One to Watch and 22nd position at S. Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013.

Yet, perhaps the best form of encouragement comes from his wife who has no special request whenever he cooks for her. “My wife always says anything I cook is good,” Chef Julien reveals.

We steal some time from his busy schedule to find out more about the man behind JAAN’s exquisite creations.

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How did you first know you wanted to become a chef?

I’m from the countryside in France. We grow our own fruits and vegetables and we have some animals as well. I grew up in an environment where we cooked a lot and I quickly realised that you could put a smile on people’s faces through food. I really liked that idea so I started cooking with my family. Soon, it became a habit and pleasure so I decided to attend cooking school.

What was your favourite memory in the kitchen when you were young?

It was baking prune and apple tarts with my grandmother almost every weekend. I remember that I always liked to eat the leftover roll dough from the tart. This is something I always remember and it is a great memory. I was around ten at that time.

What is one recipe that you would like to pass down?

It is not one dish or recipe. It is more about the cooking philosophy and the choice of the ingredients that defines my cuisine. I would like to pass down a philosophy of cooking with seasonality, seasonal and the best ingredients possible as well as respect for the product and its original taste. And behind all of that is the important idea of sustainability.

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What do you do when you are out of the kitchen?

I was in Japan recently for a quick break. As soon as I can escape to discover somewhere else, I try to do so. As soon as I am off, I try to see what the dining scene looks like. I think it’s important to understand the market well while working because the customers that come here are mostly Singaporeans so we have to understand them and their habits.

What types of food do you enjoy in Singapore?

I quite enjoy Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chilli Crabs. But my favourite Asian food in general has got to be Xiao Long Bao. The ones at Din Tai Fung are pretty good. I love Xiao Long Bao and I could eat it every day! I love Japanese food as well. My favourite place to eat in Singapore is Shinji by Kanesaka.

Any hopes for this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards?

Being in the list is already a very good recognition. If we’re in the top 20, that’s even better! Last year we received a special award, One To Watch. It was great for our business and image.

But at the end of the day, the best award is for the restaurant to be full every day and people to be happy. Seeing people leave this room with smiles on their faces after a great experience is the best award we can have.

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For more on the food we have enjoyed by Chef Julien:
Seasonal Harvests of Autumn/Winter at JAAN
JAAN | Swissotel The Stamford

Interview

2 Responses to Behind The Apron: Julien Royer (JAAN | Swissotel The Stamford)

  1. […] Find out more about the extremely talented man behind these creations- Chef Julien HERE! […]

  2. […] For more about the man behind these ingenious creations, check out our interview with Chef Julien Royer. […]

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