Originally from Hokkaido, Japan Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, Shinichi Sato is Head Chef at Paris-based restaurant, Passage 53. In 2011 he became the first Japanese chef to be awarded 2 Michelin stars in France for his combination of experience with Japanese, Spanish and French cuisine.
Having studied in Sapporo where he worked at the Grand Hotel, he was invited to work in France in a restaurant in a tiny village near Saint-Cloud. He arrived in late 2000 and, having struggled with the language barrier, he left after four months to find his fortune elsewhere. Upon visiting L’Astrance Restaurant, he was launched into thinking about cuisine in an entirely different way in terms of taste and aesthetics. So much so that he asked the Chef to work with him, to which he agreed. Having worked there for 2 years, he worked at Mugaritz for a season. When he returned from Spain in 2005, he was more empassioned to work in France, and was offered a job at Passage 53 by Guillame Desnoyer, a friend of his from L'Astrance.
Since, he has been awarded 2 Michelin stars, and a plethora of praise.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
A dinner at L’Astrance where each new dish was even more stunning than the last! The menu was incredibly intricate and inventive… It left me with lasting memories.
What was the most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
When the staff from Passage 53 worked for 2 days in Los Angeles, at Melisse Restaurant. The 2 sets of staff were mixed up in the kitchens. There was the staff from Passage 53 with large numbers of cooks from Japan, and the staff from Melisse where the chef is American and there are lots of Mexican cooks… The staff from Passage 53 did not speak very good English so they had to use sign language for several days!
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Sunday cooks should first take their time and buy top-quality ingredients, such as fine seasonal root vegetables from Joel Thiebault and excellent meat from Hugo Desnoyer. A delicious and easy seasonal dish is roast loin of Dordogne pork, gravy from the cooking juices and a parsnip purée.
- 2 Michelin stars, 2011
53 passage des Panoramas
+33 (0) 1 42 33 04 35