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Chef Hideaki Sato describes his cuisine as “pure simple and seasonal” - three words he uses to summarise his style that mixes Japanese and modern European cooking techniques.
He started cooking at the age of 19, picking up experience in a number of different restaurants before becoming the trusty sidekick of the famous chef Seiji Yamamoto.
A professional sommelier, Sato has recently stepped out of the reigns of chef Yamamoto to open his own restuarant Ta Vie - a place that relies heavily on Sato’s perfect application of Japanese philosophy to French cuisine.
On top of his many hours in the kitchen, Sato also found time recently to take part in a S.Pellegrino Masterclass where he taught people about the importance of pairing fine water with fine food.
We caught up with Sato just after the event to find out more about his career, his advice to young chefs and exactly what he is doing at the new restaurant.
What have been the biggest influences for you when it comes to cooking?
Encounter with chef Seiji Yamamoto(RyuGin)
Tell us about what is exciting you right now in Japanese cuisine?
Research, ingredients, interesting techniques? What has got you exited? Still its philosophy!!! “How can we bring out and express original and pure taste of each ingredients.”
If you weren’t a chef - what do you think you would be?
Anything possible,but if I wasn’t chef ,I hope I am pastry chef.
Tell us about your newest project Ta Vie?
I try to apply Japanese cuisine philosophy” Pure,Simple and Seasonal” to French cuisine at Ta Vie旅. I focus on Asian ingredients and product, and food culture .I want to feature and introduce Asian food heritage. And, as Japanese chef, I want to bring food trend back to tasty food. Nowadays, too much presentation, too much decoration, too much story, too much technique!!! sometimes , taste is secondary. But I want to concern to taste.For me, Taste is the most important thing, others are secondary.
How would you describe the style at Ta Vie?
Pure,Simple and Seasonal
Why did you decide to step out and finally open your own place?
What I want to express is difficult to express at any conventional restaurant and category.
What’s the best dish you ever tasted - one that you will always remember?
Lentil soup with langoustine I had it 15 years ago at one French restaurant. That taught me ,and still teach me what is gastronomy.
What advice would you give to young chefs?
Keep doing , keep going!!! Never give up!!!
How important is it to pair the right water with certain foods?
Water is everything.The most basic ingredients and elements of earth.
Are you planning any new projects that we should know about?
We are planning to invite some guest chef to our restaurant to do 4 hands dinner every two month. On 22,23,24th August ,I will collaborate with chef Luca Fantin( Bvlgari Tokyo).