SCORPIO

RECIPE FOR SUC­CESS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Stars -

(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.

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