LIFESTYLE

Blossom‭ ‬And Wither 花開花落自有時|Curious Table :行政主廚Tim 專訪

TRANSLATION | Neda

翻開 Curious Table 首季菜單,道道以花為名的意趣菜餚,令人忍不住想像每朵盛放的燦爛光景,佇立於高山雲海、仰躺於田野鄉間,或藏身於偌大都市,九道充滿浪漫鄉愁的蔬食料理,皆是主廚 Tim 想為食客心中留下的點點日常,若潛心品味,方能從中尋得「一沙一世界,一花一天堂。」之無窮妙趣。

Opening Curious Table’‬s menu of the first season‭, ‬there are interesting dishes named after flowers that one can’t help but imagine the splendid scene of each flower in full bloom‭, ‬standing in the mountains and clouds‭, ‬lying in the countryside‭, ‬or hiding in the cities‭. ‬The nine vegetarian dishes full of romantic nostalgia are all the little bits of daily life that Chef Tim wants to‭ ‬leave in the hearts of diners‭.

Curious Table 行政主廚 Tim。Curious Table’s Chef Tim.
Curious Table餐廳外觀。
Curious Table餐廳座位區。

‬激發無垠好奇

自幼在餐廳世家成長,從小接收川菜文化洗禮,先後於中西餐、烘焙糕點店歷練,擁有十四年的多元料理經驗,造就了無設限的烹調手法與靈感創意,也間接結下了 Tim 與蔬食料理的不解之緣。「我跳到西餐其實是因為賭氣,當時跟家裡有些不愉快,接觸過西餐的洗禮後,才發現原來做菜可以這麼好玩,那時候才真的覺得我想要走料理這條路。」提起做菜的最大樂趣,他表示在每個迎刃而解的過程是舒服且有成就感的,「這過程是有點痛苦,你要一直去測試,但是當你測試出一個很棒的味道時,就會覺得這些痛苦值得。」如今走在蔬食料理的風口浪尖上,正是堅持不懈的性格引領著他不斷前行,也似是為自己下了一個挑戰,試圖讓每位造訪 Curious Table 的食客驚嘆連連,進而激發潛藏內心的無垠好奇。

Curious Table 主打蔬食 Fine Dining,重新定義蔬食料理的無限可能。
Curious Table focuses on vegetarian fine dining, redefining the infinite possibilities of vegetarian cuisine.

玩轉蔬食意趣

起初將「花」作為設計靈感,主廚 Tim 透露主要構想來自於其中一道菜餚〈山苔〉,回溯過往的登高記憶,陣陣霧氣中,似真似幻的氛圍與氣味令他難以忘懷,便渴望將縈繞腦海的唯美畫面重現於菜品,「花是比較好能連結的,在味道和畫面上,大家對於花也比較有帶入感。」爾後的延伸也以日常為軌跡,桌上所食乃是 Tim 眼裡所見,以視覺觸發味覺的巧妙轉譯,悄然呈現了別樣詩意情懷。如此雅趣更體現於採用冰滴法萃取的〈蓮花〉,費時十五分鐘修剪成型,使娃娃菜得以舒展綻放,打造盎然無比的視覺動感;主菜〈威靈頓牛排〉則使用了「西瓜」作為牛肉替代品,經由反覆的浸滷與風乾,方能成就塊塊濃縮精華的風味主餐,唯妙唯肖的外觀著實令人稱奇,而這一切的細膩巧思皆歸於主廚 Tim 的直覺式思考。

〈蓮花〉費時十五分鐘修剪成型,使娃娃菜得以舒展綻放,打造盎然無比的視覺動感。
〈小手毬〉以芋泥鴨為藍本,具有獨特香氣。
〈Bridal Wreath〉 which is made by duck with taro and has a unique aroma.

堆疊日常味蕾

如何突破直觀角度發想創作脈絡,甚至重新定義蔬食料理,對於曾擔任小小樹食的主廚 Tim 來說,一開始確實遇到了不少難處,「小小樹食剛開的時候,我也是用吃蔬食的角度去研發菜單,但過程中的表現跟成效並不好。」轉念瞬間,他嘗試將重心移至葷食者,設身處地為他們著想,歷經幾番改革後,逐漸驗證如此心法,也間接造就了 Curious Table 的誕生。談起日常的靈感來源,Tim 笑說自己有一本死亡筆記本,先前曾發生一樁偷竊趣事,其速記也讓小偷摸不著頭緒,「因為那都是很隨性的去寫,並不是寫食譜在上面,而是我的 idea,是靈感的延伸。」他更表示最大的靈感來自於「吃」,做菜最關鍵便是自己要喜歡吃,從生活點滴中堆疊味蕾變化,方能積累創意花火的延綿乍現。晃眼間,十幾年的廚藝生涯匆匆而過,夜深人靜時,總有備感疲倦的時刻,而 Tim 給出了如此答案,「說真的講到底,開發新菜的成就感是一直支撐我走下去的動力,對我來說是這樣。」望見客人拍照留念、聽見客人稱讚好吃,看似如此簡單的反饋,恰賦予了他身為主廚的非凡意義,燦笑之間,眼底藏不住的真切,道盡了他之於「料理」二字的義無反顧。

〈綠牡丹〉由孢子甘藍葉、野菇、松子組成,巧妙造型令人莞爾。
〈Peony〉 is composed of cabbage leaves, mushrooms, and pine nuts.

Unlimited Curiosity

Growing up in a restaurant family‭, ‬influenced‭  ‬Sichuan cuisine culture since childhood‭, ‬successively experienced in Chinese and‭ ‬Western food‭, ‬bakery and pastry shops‭, ‬has 14‭ ‬years of multi-cuisine experience‭, ‬created unlimited cooking techniques and inspirations‭. ‬‮!(‬I jumped to Western food because I was a little unhappy with my family at that time‭. ‬After I got in touch with Western‭ ‬food‭, ‬I realized that cooking is such a fun thing‭. ‬At that time‭, ‬I really felt that I wanted to take the path of cooking‭.” ‬The‭ ‬greatest joy of cooking‭, ‬he said that in the process of solving each problem is fulfilling‭, “‬This process is a bit painful‭, ‬you‭ ‬have to keep testing‭, ‬but when you test a great taste‭, ‬you will feel the pain worthy‭.” ‬With the trend of vegetarian has risen‭, ‬it is his perseverance that leads him to keep moving forward‭, ‬and it seems that he has set a challenge for himself‭, ‬trying to amaze every diner who visit Curious Table‭, ‬and then stimulate the boundless curiosity hidden inside‭.

主廚 Tim 潛心製作每一道餐點。
Chef Tim takes care of every meal.
Curious Table餐廳座位區。

Vegetarian Diversion

‭”‬Flower‭” ‬was the inspiration for the design at first‭. ‬Chef Tim revealed that the main idea came from one of the dishes‭ “‬Attributed to Edgar Degas‭”. ‬Throw back to the memory of climbing in the past‭, ‬in the mist‭, ‬the unforgettable atmosphere and smell seemed‭ ‬like reality and fantasy‭. ‬He was eager to reproduce the beautiful image that haunts his mind in the dishes‭, “‬Flowers are easier‭ ‬to relate‭, ‬and in terms of taste and image‭, ‬everyone is more immersed in flowers‭.” ‬The extension also took the daily life as the track‭, ‬the food on the table is what Tim sees in his eyes‭, ‬a clever translation that visually triggers the taste‭, ‬quietly presenting a different kind of poetic feeling‭. ‬Such elegance is more reflected in the‭ “‬Water Lily‭” ‬extracted by the ice-drop method‭,‬‭ ‬which takes 15‭ ‬minutes to trim and shape‭, ‬so that the baby Chinese cabbage can stretch and bloom‭, ‬creating an incomparable visual dynamic‭; ‬the main course‭ “‬Wellington‭” ‬uses‭ “‬watermelon‭” ‬instead of beef‭, ‬through repeated marinating‭ ‬and drying‭, ‬the main meal of concentrated essence can be achieved‭. ‬The exquisite appearance is really amazing‭, ‬and all these delicate ingenuity is attributed to Chef Tim’s intuitive way of thinking‭.‬

〈Encore〉富含十二種中藥材香料,為色香味俱全的麵食。
〈Encore〉 is rich in 12 kinds of Chinese herbs and spices, and is a pasta with full color and flavor.

Daily Taste Buds

To break through the intuitive point of view and brainstorm the creativity‭, ‬or even redefine vegetarian dishes‭, ‬for Chef Tim‭, ‬who is also the chef of Little Tree Food‭, ‬he did encounter a lot of difficulties at the beginning‭, “‬When the Little Tree Food firstly opened‭, ‬I also developed the menu from the perspective of eating vegetables‭, ‬but the performance and results in the process‭ ‬were not good‭.‬‮!(‬‭ ‬In a flash‭, ‬he tried to focus on carnivore and put himself in their shoes‭. ‬After several reforms‭, ‬he gradually‭ ‬verified that this was correct‭. ‬Mindfulness also indirectly led to the birth of Curious Table‭. ‬Talking about the source of daily‭ ‬inspiration‭, ‬Tim laughed and said that he has a death note‭, ‬and there was an interesting stealing incident before‭, ‬the shorthand also made the thief confused‭, “‬Because it was written randomly‭, ‬not on a recipe‭, ‬it is my idea‭, ‬which is an extension of inspiration‭.‬‮!(‬‭ ‬He also said that the biggest inspiration comes from‭ ‬‮!’‬eating‮!(‬‭, ‬and the most important thing in cooking is to like to‭ ‬eat‭, ‬and to accumulate changes in taste buds from the little things in life‭, ‬in order to accumulate creativity‭. ‬In a blink of an eye‭, ‬more than a decade of culinary career have passed in a hurry‭, ‬and in the middle of night‭, ‬there is always a moment of feeling tired‭, ‬and Tim gave the answer‭, “‬To be honest‭, ‬the sense of achievement in developing new dishes has always supported me‭. ‬This is the motivation for me to go on‭.‬‮!(‬‭ ‬Seeing the guests taking pictures and hearing the guests praising the delicious food‭, ‬the seemingly simple feedback gave him the extraordinary meaning of being a chef‭. ‬He couldn’t hide the truth‭, ‬and he said that he‭ ‬had no hesitation in the word‭ “‬cooking‭”.

〈仙草花〉以紫地瓜、仙草、發酵甜菜根、杭菊等食材詮釋。
〈Violet Cabaret〉is interpreted with ingredients such as purple sweet potato, grass jelly, fermented beetroot, and chrysanthemum.
Curious Table團隊。

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