Interview with the Transcontinental Messenger of Love & Art - Chef Adrian Wu, Part 1.
By Robin Huang GoVegAsia 綠格雜誌
『Brief Bio of Chef Adrian Wu個人簡介』
Adrian Wu is a Pastry chef originally from Taiwan whose love of cooking and baking and whose curiosity and thirst for adventure led him to Europe. Currently he is working in Vienna. I took the opportunity to find out what Adrian can tell us about the European scene in Austria and surrounding countries.
R: Hi Adrian, how is life in Europe?Are you still in Vienna?
Adrian: Hello Robin! Things are going very well here in Austria. I have been travelling for a while in Germany after I finished my project with the Austrian restaurant in Vienna. I have had great experiences in Switzerland and Germany as well along Austria. People in these countries can all speak German. I can’t wait to share my findings with friends when I’m back to Asia for a vacation very soon.
GoVeg: GoVeg Asia was launched in China this month and we have received numerous welcomes and encouraging feedback. We are very keen to share information about developments in veganism around the world with our readers, especially those readers from Mainland China.
First of all, what motivated you to work in Europe? Has the reality met your expectations? 首先，請告訴我們是什麼原因促使你隻身一人赴歐進修？目前為止你是否找到了一個有效的方式來執行這個願望呢？
Adrian: Europe was always my dreamland since I was a child. It has provided me with chances to expand my cultural and culinary horizons. It has allowed me to experience different lifestyles and learn new things from people in different countries. I am lucky that I made my dreams come true in Europe where I found new techniques and new tastes from restaurants, bistros and even little stalls on the street… It has been exciting and fulfilling to study these new ways and turn my findings into something creative.
GoVeg:What is your main finding on the veg market in Austria? How are the veg restaurants doing in Vienna in particular? 奧地利的素食市場是什麼樣的狀況呢？維也納的素食餐館發展的好麼？
Adrian:As a chef who specialized in pastry, Vienna was one of the top priorities for me to go to. The city is filled with famous chocolate products, many Bavarian sweets and supreme quality bread! Talking about veg restaurants, the most important reason for me to choose Vienna as my first stop was the restaurant Tian that I previously had worked at. Tian is the only vegetarian restaurant in continental Europe that has a Michelin star.
On the other hand, I went to Vienna as my first stage and later I may leap to other European cities such as Berlin and London which are the most vegan/vegetarian friendly cities in Europe. The vegetarian/vegan market is wildly blooming in Austria. There are dozens of restaurants waiting for you to visit and it’s also super easy to find the veg friendly restaurants and they have with clear labels on the menu to inform you about ingredients and allergens. At the same time, you will find the special corner for vegetarian/vegan goods in almost any supermarket, with wide selections of plant-based milk, seitan, and vegan yogurt and cheese.
GoVeg: How many countries have you travelled through this time? What is the most impressive experience you have had during your trips? 這次旅歐你去過了多少國家？可否與我們分享這一路上對你感受最深的經驗和事情？
Adrian:As well as Austria, I have recently been to Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, the UK, Spain and Germany, sightseeing along with visiting friends, and most importantly collecting local recipes and exploring the potential market for vegan businesses. There have been so many unforgettable memories during this trip, but I can tell so far the best vegan dining experience was in a city called Innsbruck in Austria. The restaurant was simple and small but the food and service was marvelous. They definitely deserve a star if the Michelin map covers this region.
Adventuring wise, I did skiing for the second time in my life in a pretty and sporty city surrounded by beautiful Alpine mountains. The starting point was about 2,500m high, and I nearly killed myself while shooting down to the hill, but I managed to came back in one piece at the end. That was extremely thrilling and enjoyable. 而關於旅行最難忘的回憶也同時是在因斯布魯克發生的，那時是我人生第二次滑雪，然而我朋友把我帶到了海拔2500公尺高的山頂，這是一個在七零年代奧林匹克冬季滑雪比賽的一個場地，我就這麼樣在沒有做適當的心理準備狀況下被推下山崖然後奇蹟似的全身而退，在沒有丟掉小命的狀態下我的確進步神速！
GoVeg: What is so special about Austrian pastry desserts comparing to French and Italian style? 相對於熱門的法式和意式甜點，奧地利甜品的獨特之處在哪裡呢？奧地利甜品中是否有不少純素品種，或可以經由你的手作創意來完成‘純素化’這樣的華麗轉身呢？
Adrian: Austrian desserts in general are less sweetened and normally in simpler forms compared to French desserts. They are also very classical and original just like the Austrian people. For example, many shops have been following the same recipes for hundreds of years. Apart from that, northern Italy, Hungary and Bavaria were all once part of Austria long ago, hence you can see many that influences on the desserts from these regions have been merged together in Austria. Located next to the Alps, Austria is famous about their dairy products and unsurprisingly they used a lot of milk, butter, cream, cheese and eggs for most of the desserts, so my mission here is to find the right replacements for those inorganic ingredients and transform them into something tastier, lighter and healthier.
GoVeg: Please share with us a couple of desserts that highlight and represent Austrian pastries. Are you able to modify them for vegans? 可否與我們簡單介紹幾款可以視為奧地利當地甜品的代表呢？你有信心可以將它們做成精美的純素版本麼？
Adrian: Sure! The most famous Austrian dessert is Sacher Torte, which was invented in Vienna and was exclusively offered to royal family 200 years ago. The cake combines dark chocolate and apricot jam harmoniously and glazes with a layer of sweet dark chocolate. The other representative dessert would be Kaiserschmarren, which is a shredded fluffy pancake beloved by the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, usually served with warm homemade plum or applesauce. You will have a chance to not only see how I make these amazing desserts. We will practice together with others on the vegan version in my classes when I get back to Asia.
GoVeg: Since you are having a short break back in Taiwan and Hong Kong this month, what are your plans?你即將回到香港和台灣度假，可以透露下你這次回程有什麼特殊計畫麼？
Adrian: In addition to catching up with family and friends, I am going to run a few vegan courses in HK and China with VeganRise and also with several cooking schools in Taipei so that I can bring the Austrian delicacies to Asia!
GoVeg: What is your general impression and experience towards the vegan market in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan respectively? 你對香港、內地和台灣的素食市場的印象和經驗各為怎樣的呢？
Adrian: Having the second highest ratio of vegetarian residents, Taiwan is definitely the most veg friendly destination in Asia. You can find veg restaurants almost everywhere easily! Hong Kong has several vegan dim sum and modern healthy style restaurants which you shouldn’t miss, and the market is still blooming! Recently with the healthy wave of natural living becoming trendier in China, people have more and more choices than before and most of them offer the traditional Chinese cuisines yet a few have started providing modern dishes in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. I shall explore more during my trip this time.
GoVeg: I am sure there are plenty of people wanting to be vegan pastry chefs. Do you have any suggestions for them? 我知道有不少人立志成為純素甜品師傅，鑑於此，你對他們有什麼樣的建議呢？
Adrian: Be brave and open-minded to try new ingredients, and practice more and often.
GoVeg: Well Adrian, thank you kindly for your time. Let us catch up soon in Hong Kong at your artisan dessert workshops. I am sure they will be something huge to not only veg people but also those keen bakers who are health conscious.
Adrian: You are welcome Robin, and I appreciate the work GoVeg Asia is doing and I truly look forward to seeing old and new friends in Hong Kong and China soon.
不用客氣 Robin, 很感謝 GoVeg Asia 綠格雜誌為推廣香港、中國素食發展做出的貢獻。期待很快的能與新舊朋友們在香港和中國大陸相聚一堂！
Written by: Robin Huang
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