04/01/2015, 00.00
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Taipei: “the scent of the Gospel" in the best restaurant in town

by Xin Yage
Purple is a Taiwanese entrepreneur. Her restaurant has ranked Taipei’s best restaurant for many years. This Easter, she will celebrate the third anniversary of her baptism. "The Catholic faith has improved me as a person and as a businesswoman. When people eat and drink in a refined way, they are happy and open to Jesus and God's love.”

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Purple ( 小姐) owns one of Taipei’s best-known restaurant. About four years ago, she found Christ and just three years ago was baptised on Easter night.

At the end of the interview, as a sign of the quality of her restaurant, a television crew from CTI (中天 新聞) came in to shoot a piece for the evening news. For the fifth time in six years, her eatery was “Taipei’s finest”. Here is her story.

In 2012, I was baptised on Easter night (7 April) at Taipei’s Sacred Heart Church (聖 心 堂) by Father Ignatius (洪 萬 六 神父), who was then parish priest, after completing six months of catechism. A dear friend had introduced me to downtown Taipei’s vibrant Christian community.

Before that, I thought there was too much pressure in my life, family and work. The peace I found by living according to the Gospel is certainly the most important thing about my faith. I owe everything to this inner peace, including success in my professional career.

I am an entrepreneur and I see things from a long-term perspective. My motto is "do it better and do it differently." I also noticed that this way of seeing things works with my fellow workers.

I see that I have the talent to improve the situation, because many people tell me that. I think it is a God-given thing. It does not depend on me. This gives me joy because I see that things can be improved.

I like to work with others. Being in community, in the parish, makes me very happy. It is an opportunity for a life of fulfilment and values.

In the case of a restaurant, community and professional life are often similar. We have to discuss and make decisions. In this sense, constructive criticism is better than silence; critique to improve things is good and accepting criticism is a big improvement.

I studied business and management in England where I met an Italian friend. We started to think about opening a restaurant to enrich gastronomically the island of Taiwan. Wine and ice cream at the beginning, then moving onto bigger things.

Another friend taught our employees to make an ice cream of excellent quality. So we started with a simple ice cream parlour, selling fresh homemade products.

Then we opened two restaurants, obviously not all at once. It was a long process but we had clear ideas about what we wanted.

Finally, there was my conversion to Christianity. I found Jesus and I was fascinated by the Last Supper.

Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine as body and soul, and I realised that to us preparing food was doing God’s work. When people eat and drink in a refined way, they are happy and open to Jesus and God's love.

We have also trained many sisters here in Taipei to make good food. With good ingredients, one can taste the Gospel.

We have served many customers and from what we read online, they are pleased by our attention to quality. Eventually, we won some official prizes.

We always want to do well, starting with the small details. People appreciate it and understand that. Undoubtedly, many people have helped us to improve and better understand what they need. Ultimately, we realise that what they need is the love of Jesus.

Jesus helps me better understand our customers and improve our relations. Everyone needs love, and Jesus is the best answer. I am not afraid to say it: I am Catholic and I have improved as a person since I made that choice.

This is what my relatives also say. My attitude and outlook on life has improved and changed. But I will not stop at that. I am a perfectionist and I want to improve even more!

What gives me a special strength? Every Sunday I take part in the Mass and I draw a lot out of it. I thank Jesus for giving me the opportunity to know about a great community in which I feel God’s support. It gives me unequalled strength.

How do I see my future? My future is the opportunity to help even more people. If I can help more people and make the community grow, more people can discover the true values ​​of life.

I want to have God’s strength to help more people. This is what I really feel: "Everything I freely received I shall freely give with God’s help!"

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