Justin used his savings to move to France where chefs were swapping heavy, classic dishes for lighter, produce-driven nouvelle cuisine. This set the stage for the culinary style he's become famous for, a fusion of French traditions and Asian flavours. It's an approach that still drives his vision today.
l'd been cooking for seven years by the time I moved to France but it was all about discipline and leadership so I had to start all over again," says Justin, who counts fois gras dumplings filled with consomme and Hokkien noodles with live lobster among his signature dishes. "In Asia, we have so many spices and whether you're Thai, Vietnamese or Cantonese, the technique is amazing. European cuisine is simpler but the finesse is so high. I'm also inspired by hawker stalls - but I'd omit the bad produce and use lobster, wagyu beef from Japan and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, Justin sees possibilities for every kind of ingredient. Although he starts his day with a long black, he thinks coffee doesn't always have to be sipped.
"I recently made a roasted lack of lamb with Vittoria coffee creme and a Vittoria creme brûlé with hazelnut creme," he grins. "These are dishes you need to try!"