Set high in the rugged mountains of southern Taiwan, Chef Alex Peng decided to open a small restaurant in his Rukai homeland, in a small village called Guchabo’an, precisely to make the journey part of the experience.
His desire is to create a holistic dining atmosphere whereby the commitment of making a reservation and travelling for some time to a different space and environment, alters the overall mood and perception.
The word “AKAME” means grilling, in the language of the Taiwanese indigenous Rukai tribe, and chef Alex presents modern aboriginal cuisine, designed to reinterpret Taiwan’s indigenous foods.
Chef Alex dedicates his time to gathering the ingredients for his kitchen from across Taiwan, often from some of the most remote of places in the country, and cooks by grilling on a traditional wood-fire brick oven using only seasonal foods, along with characteristic spices and wild herbs from the surrounding hills and forests.
Food prepping is intensive, since some of the ingredients are rare and can only be found in remote areas.
Chef Alex explains, “We use a lot of wild herbs from the mountains. Some are difficult to source, so we get friends who are familiar with the mountain environment to help us find them. For example, we use prickly ash leaf and flower, mountain asparagus, five-needle pine, and seeds from the nutgall tree.”
Embrace the mountain journey and adventure of discovering the ancient aboriginal culture of southern Taiwan through food and travel at AKAME.