American chef William Shen and Austrian chef Klemens Schraml visited the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple on Sunday, hoping to learn about local culture and tap into culinary inspiration through religious activities.
Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage (大甲媽祖繞境) kicked off its 9-day and 8-night journey on April 9 and is expected to return to Jenn Lann Temple (大甲鎮瀾宮) in Taichung on April 18.
This year, two foreigners wearing chef’s white stood out among the crowds at the temple this year: Klemens Schraml and William Shen, the Howard Prince Hotel Taichung’s chef director.
Shen who grew up in New York is unfamiliar with Taiwanese culture. He hopes to return to his father’s hometown to learn more about culture and faith.
He said that although he is a Christian, he could feel the Taiwanese people’s respect for their faith through the pilgrimage.
Also, Shen said he was impressed by the locals’ hospitality and the faith that brought people comfort after he saw the constant food offerings along the way.
Schraml happened to see the annual pilgrimage and was amazed by the religious culture of Taiwan.
The Austrian chef said he was inspired by the grand event and would like to combine Western cooking and Eastern beliefs as inspiration for his cuisine.