TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
橄欖綠與象牙白的優雅交織，悠然打造一處如家般的愜意空間，清一色的澄淨餐盤，切實貫徹 REFINE主廚 Dennis所秉持的凝練美學。「看似簡單，實則不易。」剔除過多的食材與調味堆疊，一場返璞歸「真」的法料盛宴就此展開。
Interweaving olive green with ivory white, a homely dining space is thus created. From the tableware to the unity of colors, everything at REFINE is a testament to Head Chef Dennis’s belief in condensation. “It may seem simple, but it’s not easy.” By eliminating all the excessive ingredients and seasoning, a French feast—one that takes us back to the origin—begins.
擁有二十年豐厚法餐經驗的主廚 Dennis，曾任於 Villa Ollila 與台中 Le Moût 樂沐法式餐廳，期間屢獲各方讚揚。憶起對料理感興趣的契機，他笑答觸發點是一碗「酸辣湯」，「我有一個嬸嬸她很會煮菜，就請嬸嬸教我煮那個酸辣湯。之後得到家人跟朋友的賞識， 就這樣開始對烹飪有興趣。」而真正立定志向的那年，是 Dennis 當兵時所獲得的自我探究，除了具備基本的熱情，審慎思量自身的料理天賦更為關鍵因素，「因為廚師有一個味覺上的敏銳度，這應該算是天份，是沒辦法靠後天所努力的。」如此「冷靜、敏銳、細心」的人格特質，也展現於廚房中的勤勉身影，善用換位角度構思菜餚組成，每每上菜，皆是 Dennis 精煉於心的法式饗宴。
REFINE 意味去蕪存菁，以「減法準則」襯托食物原有的鮮美滋味，為主廚 Dennis 多年積累的手藝體現，更是其料理哲學的精準連結：看起來簡單，吃起來不簡單。近期恰逢初秋，REFINE 也推出了全新菜色，提及本次的當季食材，Dennis 隨即說道秋天是狩獵季節，特以鹿肉搭配荔枝、野菇與銀杏，並運用秋蟹呈現法式傳統菜，添入日料處理手法，一展日法融和巧思，結尾則以羊奶、葡萄風味甜點劃下完美句點。整體菜單精準掌握「酸鮮濃潤」之起承轉合，於菜序間蘊藏驚喜味蕾，如跌宕起伏的悠揚人生旋律，冀望每位拜訪 REFINE 的食客，皆能放下匆忙步伐，慢品主廚 Dennis 巧手下的生命餘味。
提起喜愛的台灣小吃，主廚 Dennis 笑答對油飯、米糕情有獨鍾，「像它們就是很傳統的米食，我覺得裡面的層次變化很有趣，可能比一些西餐的 risotto 更複雜一點。」米糕，也勾起了他兒時的歡愉片段，憶起母親逢年過節的忙碌身影，那段珍藏記憶盡濃縮於風味中，每每品嘗，皆是心中的熟稔好滋味。對於平日的靈感來源，主廚 Dennis 表示菜市場是個好去處，或者藉由拜訪餐廳、出國旅行感受相異文化，也能激盪不少新穎花火。縱觀國際料理界，他透露自己最景仰的人物是壽司之神小野二郎，更認為一名好的主廚應具備「堅持、自律、保持熱情」等特質。關於未來規劃，主廚 Dennis 笑說自己沒有什麼理想抱負，專注於食材本位的發揮便是人生一大課題，如今的他，以謙遜姿態面對所有，持泰然篤定之姿，正步出屬於自己的法式極簡之路。
On Talent and Ambition
With 20 years of culinary experience in French cuisine, Chef Dennis has worked at Villa Ollila and Le Moût, where he received recognition and many compliments. Surprisingly, it was a bowl of hot and sour soup that inspired his interest in cooking. “My aunt is a really good cook, so I asked her to teach me how to make her signature hot and sour soup. After making it for my family and friends, they all really liked it, which is how I got into cooking.” However, the year Dennis really set his mind on his ambition was the year he spent in the army. In addition to passion, which is a necessity, having culinary talent is another crucial factor. “A chef needs to have a sensitive palette. It is considered as a natural ability, one that cannot be worked on.” Such a calm, sensitive and attentive personality is reflected in his diligent work ethics in the kitchen. Making good use of empathic thinking while designing the menu, Dennis makes sure each and every dish is a French feast of absolute perfection.
Flavors of Refinement
“REFINE” defines the process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. Applying the rule of subtraction, Chef Dennis elevates the natural, fresh flavors of the ingredients with his years of craft. His dishes appear simple, but the tastes and flavors are rather complex—a perfect embodiment of his culinary philosophy. With autumn just around the corner, REFINE is also introducing a new menu for the upcoming season. Since fall is the hunting season, Chef Dennis decides to incorporate seasonal ingredients. While venison is paired with lychee, wild mushrooms and ginkgo, traditional French cuisine is reimagined with autumn crab and Japanese cooking techniques to showcase a fusion of ingenuity. Ending with a dessert of goat milk and grape, the new menu precisely captures the journey of flavors by creating pleasant surprises for the taste bud. Like a song dedicated to the ups and downs in life, it aspires that every guest at REFINE can slow down his or her pace and carefully savor the flavors offered by Chef Dennis.
Origin of Ingredients
When it comes to his favorite Taiwanese street food, Chef Dennis laughs and says he is very fond of steamed sticky rice and savory rice cake. “I find the layers of flavors in these traditional rice dishes very interesting. They are probably more complex than risottos in western cuisine.” Savory rice cakes also evoke the joyful times of his childhood, as he recalls spending Chinese New Year with his mother. It is as if the flavors encapsulate the cherished memories as it allows him to revisit these moments whenever he eats them. As for daily inspirations, he finds traditional markets to be a good place. Visiting restaurants and traveling are also ways to stimulate new ideas. From the international culinary industry, the person he admires the most is Chef Jiro Ono, one of the best sushi chefs in the world. When asked what defines a good chef, he believes it is important to have the characteristics of persistence, self-discipline and passion. In terms of future plans, he says focusing on the origin of ingredients is his top priority at the moment. Facing life with humility, while maintaining a firm attitude, Chef Dennis takes on the future in stride as he paves his own French minimalist path like no other.