RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
(OCTOBER 24–NOVEMBER 22)
Mars brings a cosmic call to slow down, which might feel counterintuitive this week. A silly scenario can either continue to spiral into chaos, or you can bring a matter to a halt and provide it with the energy to move in a healthier direction. All you need to do is give things more time, and trust that you know what to do for the best. Summon all your generosity, courage and patience and the right thing will manifest. Regardless of the problem, there’s an answer. Call 1900 957 223.
From an early age I would always help my mother with dinner, and I loved it. The more I cooked at home with my mother, the more I wanted to be a chef. Rather than just a deep passion for cooking, it was about wanting to help. I always put others before me.
Like any industry, you need to work your way up to the top. At 18, I started working as a kitchen hand at the Washington Hotel in Japan. I also did some part-time work at a small izakaya restaurant (a type of informal Japanese pub). I saved money for two years and then moved to Los Angeles. I worked in a restaurant in Hollywood called Geisha House and learnt about sushi, which was a new experience for me. I worked at Geisha House for six years before moving to Sydney six and a half years ago.
Helping to bring a new Saké experience to the table in Sydney’s beachside suburb of Manly is an honour.
It is a huge milestone for me to become head chef at the 300-seat restaurant, and I am very grateful to my Saké and Rockpool Dining Group family for their support and believing in me.
Achieving this goal is made even better because I also attained employersponsored permanent residency status just a few months ago. It’s proof that hard work and commitment pay off.
Making sure customers have an enjoyable dining experience is what I love about my job. My biggest influences have been Shaun Presland from Saké and Raita Noda from my previous job at Ocean Room. I started working for Shaun-san [in Japanese the honorific “san” is a sign of respect] at Saké The Rocks as chef de partie at the start of 2014. Under his mentorship, I was promoted to sous chef in mid2016. He has taught me to keep pushing the boundaries, to set goals and to strive towards them. Achieving the position of head chef was once such a far-off goal and I’m really proud to have earned this during my time at Rockpool Dining Group, with Shaun behind me every step of the way.
My favourite dish to cook from the menu at Saké Manly would have to be the nasu dengaku, which is tempura eggplant with den miso and ito togarashi. Instead of just deep-frying nasu, we tempura the eggplant and drizzle caramelised citrus sweet miso on top. It’s like you’re eating a hot dessert.
Finding the right process for each dish is challenging and also timeconsuming. But if you can hit upon perfection, then it’s a great feeling.
I also like to freestyle and improvise when I’m cooking. I love cooking for my family, and just opening the fridge and creating something from the ingredients on hand.
My advice for budding chefs is to be patient with yourself. It takes time to master this trade. Learn from those around you – everyone, not just your superiors. Put your head down, be loyal to your team and one day that hard work and commitment will be rewarded.
Looking back on my life and career, there is nothing I would change as I believe our lives were designed the moment we’re born into this world. Saké Restaurant & Bar Manly is now open.