Ipoh girl wins Michelin star for Paris restaurant

Pertinence, co-owned by Ipoh-born Liew (right) and her Japanese husband Ryuosuke Naito, received one Michelin star in the 2018 Michelin Guide France. — Picture via Pertinence Restaurant
Pertinence, co-owned by Ipoh-born Liew (right) and her Japanese husband Ryuosuke Naito, received one Michelin star in the 2018 Michelin Guide France. — Picture via Pertinence Restaurant

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Kwen Liew is the first Malaysian woman to receive a Michelin star, awarded for her restaurant in Paris just seven months after it opened.

The restaurant Pertinence, co-owned by Ipoh-born Liew and her Japanese husband Ryuosuke Naito, received one Michelin star in the 2018 Michelin Guide France for its French cuisine.

“Ryu carefully and expertly transforms market-fresh ingredients into succulent classical French dishes, brushing away the cobwebs of tradition along the way,” said Michelin.

The South China Morning Post reported that Liew was one out of only two women chefs who won the Michelin star in the prestigious restaurant and hotel guide book this year.

Another Ipoh-born, Chan Hon Meng, won a Michelin star in 2016 for his hawker stall in Singapore that sold soya sauce chicken rice and noodles.

Liew said on Facebook that she was a “cuisinière” (chef), not a pastry chef as described on the Michelin website.

“We need to work twice harder to prove that we are capable in the Kitchen . But why is that so ???we are human as the male are !!!” Liew posted last month as she shared an article titled: “Why do women chefs keep missing out on Michelin stars?”

The South China Morning Post reported Liew as saying that men working in the kitchen generally did not listen to women.

“They say: ‘We don’t give a damn what she says’,” said Liew.

Pertinence’s website says the restaurant serves French cuisine with Japanese technique. The restaurant serves only 18 guests at a time.

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