Attending hospitality school in Paris from the age of 13, Nicolas Le Bec got an early start in hotels and restaurants. Originally beginning as a baker, he edged his way into the kitchen as a cook. By 17, he took his chef’s knives and headed to New York City.

There he fell in love with Chinatown and Asian cuisine, merging it with his French background. Hopping from New York to London and to Sydney, Le Bec garnered two Michelin stars in his work. Eventually, after 40 years, he settled in China, where he opened Villa Le Bec in 2014.

Within a year, Villa Le Bec had its own Michelin star and was named one of Shanghai’s best restaurants.