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Abri: customizing for each client with a database. An interview with Katsuaki Okiyama

For the repeaters, we maintain a database of what they ate each time. This allows me to not repeat the same dish. So if I see that a client ate a duck the last time, I would substitute it with another meat, or at least change the style. We serve 3 entrées in a menu, but we have between 15 and 20 in reserve. Continue reading

Interview Nicolas Le Bec rue Le Bec in Lyon 2011 Parisetc © All rights reserved

Nicolas Le Bec from rue Grolée to rue Le Bec

It’s true that I’m very disciplined in my work. Each plate must be identical to another. The picture must be propped in the same way each time. A certain level of rigor is a must. I believe that every great chef, not just a good chef but a great chef must necessarily be demanding. There are things that may work or not work depending on the specific characteristics in each generation. But the work remains very military-like. Everything must be organized; if someone is out of order, it will disrupt the whole system. Continue reading


The first Japanese chef to earn 2 Michelin stars in France, Shinichi Sato of Passage 53 seeks freedom and artistry

If you compromise, it’s the end. I only want to deliver something I know to be the best. Of course it makes me happy when a customer is pleased. But hypothetically speaking, if a customer is happy with something I am not satisfied with, I’m not happy. I know it’s disrespectful to the customer to say that. I’m constantly trying to do my best. Maybe I’m cooking for myself more than for my clients. Perhaps I shouldn’t say things like that, but maybe I’m cooking to achieve self-satisfaction. Continue reading

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Chef Akira Nishigaki of L’oursin qui boit: “I wanted to start a reasonably priced restaurant where people can casually frequent”

On the first day of work in France, I looked at the restaurant and the clients were all ordinary people. That was an emotional moment for me. Ordinary workers and grandmothers eating French food, drinking wine, and enjoying themselves from lunchtime – that left an indelible impression. In Japan, French cuisine is something you eat for special occasions, like birthdays. Of course it’s normal that people here would eat French cuisine like a normal meal. But for me, I thought that was really great. So I wanted to start a reasonably priced restaurant where people can casually frequent. Continue reading

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Chef Masashi Iijima: with understanding of French way of life

I used to play baseball. I like team play. I think it’s great. So I wonder, if I were to do something with a foreigner whom I don’t know, what would happen? Working in French kitchens was also like that for me. I am interested in what I don’t know. It’s the same with cooking. When people who don’t know each other get together, there, you don’t need words. I always thought that was interesting. Continue reading

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Chef Masa’s creations – the most luxurious sushi in NY

Some people are inspired when they see a color they have never encountered before. You say, wow, I’ve never seen such a color before. It’s like that with words for me, and when I hear a word that is stimulating, it echoes inside me, and that immediately transforms in to cooking. Continue reading