Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants returns for its 2021 edition on March 25 to celebrate not only the best culinary accomplishments in the region but also the people propelling the industry forward. Ahead of the winning restaurant announcements, the ever-controversial Best Female Chef was declared with DeAille Tam of Obscura in Shanghai securing the Cinco Jotas-sponsored title.
Obscura sits at the intersection of heritage and innovation, celebrating the ancient Chinese traditions of food, wine, tea and incense. Set within the three-storey Tang Xiang Cultural Space and home to a private collection of valuable Chinese treasures, it evokes the symbolism and customs of its surroundings to create an immersive dining experience. Chinese flavours are treated to such imaginative contemporary reinterpretations that might surprise even the most jaded of connoisseurs.
Prior to opening Obscura with her husband, Simon Wong, the executive chef had embarked on a year-long journey researching the diverse cuisines and regions of China and translating her findings into a crafted menu. Tam is no stranger to intensive research and creative applications; she had originally signed up for a degree in engineering when a newfound passion for cooking nudged her to pursue a culinary education in Toronto with a postgraduate degree in Italian cuisine.
Her previous experience includes stints at Bo Innovation under the acclaimed Alvin Leung in Hong Kong and the launch of sister restaurant Bo Shanghai at Five on the Bund, where she distinguished herself as the first female chef in mainland China to earn a Michelin star in 2018.
Tam will officially be garlanded with the title at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. The online ceremony will take place on March 25 at 4.30pm local time, broadcast via Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page and the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel.
This article first appeared on Mar 8, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.