Legendary Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata has been awarded the American Express Icon Award 2020 as part of the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.
Chef Murata is considered the master of Japanese kaiseki, and is a third-generation owner and chef of 3 Michelin star Kikunoi, the highly revered ryotei in Kyoto. Murata built on his already stellar reputation with the opening of Roan Kikunoi, also in Kyoto, and Akasaka Kikunoi, in Tokyo.
Yoshihiro Murata is more than a chef, he has dedicated himself to the mentorship, nurturing of new talent and the propagation of the Japanese culinary tradition. He founded the non-profit Japanese Culinary Academy which runs educational programmes and cross-cultural exchanges between Japanese and Western chefs.
Kaiseki is a form of traditional multi-course dinner, but also refers to the skills and techniques involved and can be considered analogous to western haute cuisine.
Murata will be presented with the award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on the 24th of March, in Takeo, Saga Prefecture. The award is voted by the 300 strong members of the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Academy and honours culinary icons who have made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry.
Accepting the honour, Murata said: "I am grateful that the members of the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Academy appreciate my work. I hope I can inspire younger Japanese chefs to explore the diversity of locally grown ingredients and educate others on authentic Japanese cuisine."