TIME

Tsai Ing-wen is making breakfast. The presidential candidate cracks five eggs and lets them bubble with bacon in the pan. She stacks slices of thick, white toast. It’s a recipe adapted from British chef Jamie Oliver, but the ingredients, she can’t help but say, are pure Taiwan. The meat comes courtesy of Happy Pig, a farm near her spare but tasteful Taipei apartment, the bread from a neighborhood bakery. She offers me an orange. “Organic,” she says, in English. “And local, of course.”

This is not an average breakfast for the 58-year-old lawyer turned politician running to become Taiwan’s next President­—most days she grabs a coffee and books it to the car. But it is, in many ways, oh so Tsai. The Taipei-raised, U.S.- and U.K.-educated former negotiator wrote her doctoral thesis on international trade law. As a minister, party chair and presidential candidate (she narrowly lost to two-term incumbent…

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