Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2023

Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2023

Julien Royer

Odette, Singapore

Asia’s adopted French talent is embraced by the world

His flagship restaurant, Odette, was voted No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for two years running, and has ranked in the top 10 for seven consecutive years since opening in 2015. Sister restaurant Claudine entered the extended Asia’s 50 Best list in 2023, just over a year after opening, and his previous restaurant, Jaan, made the top 20 under his tenure. With so much success under his belt, it’s no wonder Julien Royer is respected by his peers, but the fact that fellow cooks voted him as winner of the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2023 for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is evidence they also value him as the dynamic personality and key member of the global chef community that he has become.

Royer hails from Auvergne, France, but he has been welcomed into the Asian restaurant scene with open arms since moving to Singapore 15 years ago. Across his three restaurants – Odette and Claudine in Singapore, and Louise in Hong Kong – he hires and nurtures local talent to cook and serve his sophisticated French cuisine, which includes signature dishes like Kampot pepper-crusted pigeon, and yuzu tart with shiso and basil. He also upholds the highest standards of hospitality, training his teams to adapt their service to each individual customer and taking care of every little detail – an approach that led Odette to win the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award for Asia’s 50 Best in 2022.

Despite achieving countless accolades before turning 40 in 2022, Royer remains in constant pursuit of improvement, returning to France twice a year to learn from his motherland, and collaborating with chefs around the world to broaden his horizons. This determination to succeed, coupled with his unparalleled natural talent, makes Royer a source of inspiration for chefs and would-be chefs not only across Asia, but around the world.

The Chefs’ Choice Award is the only peer-voted accolade in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants programme. It honours a chef who has made a positive contribution to the global culinary scene over the last year, as chosen by the teams behind the restaurants in this year’s list.