Shinobu Namae is the chef-owner of L’Effervescence in Tokyo, which he opened in 2010. The restaurant, which focuses on modern gastronomy based on Japanese terroir and European techniques. Shinobu received a degree in politics from KEIO University. He worked at Michel Bras’ three-Michelin-star restaurants in Laguiole, France, and Hokkaido, Japan, where he was sous chef. Before opening L’Effervescence, he was the sous chef of Heston Blumenthal’s acclaimed The Fat Duck in Bray, England, and also worked in the restaurant’s pastry department.
The food at L'Effervescence can be described as contemporary French with modern gastronomic twists with creations such as ‘an idea of apple pie’ – a playful reworking of the famous McDonald's fast-food product, served in a little red takeaway box at the table. The filling changes constantly, but has featured combinations such as wild boar, sage and matutake mushrooms. Namae, also take a focus on organic produce in dishes such as whole cooked turnip, accompanied by parsley oil emulsion, Basque ham and brioche.
L’Effervescence has also developed a reputation for amazing desserts and has several unique sweets on the menu inspired from his time spent as the pastry chef at the Fat Duck.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words...
Nature, time, imperfection, Japan.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I wouldn't say something "greatest" as I think everything is the greatest for me.
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
I want to go to Ethiopia to eat Ethiopian cuisine.
What four things would you take to a desert island?
Books, food, a bottle of wine, a boat to go back home.
- 2 Michelin Stars in 2014
- #85 | World's 50 Best Restaurants
- #12 | Asia's 50 Best Restaurants
Images © Luuvu Hoang