Ivan Li, Executive Chef and co-owner of Family Li Imperial Cuisine, preserves the recipes and cooking methods originated by his great-grandfather, Li Shunqing, who oversaw the imperial kitchen in the Forbidden City during the Qing dynasty. Li safeguards the time-honoured recipes and showcases the finest natural ingredients and flavours, focusing on harmony and purity of taste. Dishes are cooked over a gentle oven fire, replicating the traditional practices once employed in Empress Cixi’s kitchen.
Li helped establish the first Family Li Imperial Cuisine restaurant in Beijing in 1985, later opening satellite restaurants in Melbourne, Tokyo and Taipei. In 2006, Li was appointed Technical Consultant for the Family Li Imperial Cuisine Shanghai, as well as for the Tianjin branch, opened two years later.
More recently, in 2010 Li opened the Family Li Imperial Cuisine restaurant in Beijing’s Shunyi district. A graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a degree in Interior Design, Li was also responsible for the restaurant’s emperor-worthy interiors. From this Beijing base, Li trains apprentice chefs to work at the Shanghai and Tianjin branches, and test-trials the thousands of imperial recipes in his collection.
Chef Li has been named 2014 Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award Winner most recently, for preserving traditions and reviving historical cuisine - read more here.
- 2014 Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award Winner