Place of birth
Where are your current restaurants?
Nobu New York; Nobu London; Nobu Tokyo; and Nobu Milan.
What is the most exciting and receptive city for today’s extraordinary chefs?
For me it’s Tokyo, where I can get any ingredient.
Would you ever steal a special recipe from another chef?
If you could cook for anyone dead or living, who would it be? there is sexiness to some of my dishes
My mother who passed away last year, I would make her sushi.
there is sexiness to some of my dishes
Who, in your estimation, is the first veritable modern culinary equivalent of Coco Chanel?
Using fashion as a social index, what is the range of designer labels that one finds in the coat-check on the average night?
What do you prize the most that money cannot buy?
Sensibility, It’s something you’re born with.
What was the singular, most shocking incident that took place in one of your restaurants?
We were held up at gun-point and had to open the safe at the end of the night at Nobu New York one night a few months after we’d opened. That was scary.
How does eroticism feature in your dishes?
It’s not something I try to feature, but there is sexiness to some of my dishes.
What is the food equivalent of, say, a drug high?
When you taste something amazing for the first time. For example in September/October, when white truffles are in season in Italy,
I had this parmesan risotto at Paper Moon restaurant in Milan. They shaved fresh white truffles on top and it was just great!
Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that national boundaries and identities no longer inform or define a chef’s style. What are your thoughts on this?
I agree; there are no boundaries when it comes to food these days. Food has become global. I think it’s a good thing. There is a place for everything. Those who want to can preserve tradition, and others can create new dishes using global ingredients which have become available thanks to better distribution.
How relevant and to what extent is Escoffier important to the contemporary chef?
Is Spain’s Ferran Adria momentarily or finally displacing France’s number one position in culinary supremacy?
Ferran Adria has come up with something new to the culinary world, and that is a major accomplishment. I don’t think he’s necessarily displacing anything. He created something very unique, which chefs everywhere are incorporating into their own cooking.
Are you orthodox about natural as opposed to synthesized ingredients?
Yes, I like to use natural ingredients that are in season.
What would be your last meal?