Work Ex­pe­ri­ence

CateringNews Middle East - - Talent -

With dreams of be­com­ing a pilot, Chef Shin­oda’s pas­sion for cook­ing took off at an early age when he landed a job in the kitchens of the Ho­tel Okura in Tokyo back in 1977 and it all went up­hill from there, ac­cord­ing to the chef.

“My fa­ther spot­ted my pas­sion for cook­ing very early and sug­gested I think about it as a ca­reer and when I got my first job at Ho­tel Okura, I im­me­di­ately felt at home,” Chef Shin­oda says.

“I was in com­plete awe of the chefs and all the ex­otic in­gre­di­ents, I loved ev­ery minute of it. I ended up work­ing at the ho­tel in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties for 22 years so it’s fair to say that my fa­ther was right.”

With never-end­ing sup­port from his fam­ily, Chef Shin­oda gives the credit of his ca­reer to his par­ents as they in­spired him to fol­low his pas­sion, “As far back as I can re­mem­ber, food was al­ways an im­por­tant part of our fam­ily and my mother told me ‘If you be­come a chef, you can eat even if you are poor,” Chef Shin­oda re­calls.

“My fa­ther was a won­der­ful chef too. Some of my fond­est child­hood mem­o­ries re­volve around week­ends spent watch­ing him cook and the de­light I had when I got to try his food is some­thing that has car­ried me through my en­tire ca­reer as I want to bring the same joy­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to every­one.”

Lead­ing the team at the home-grown Ja­panese con­cept, Chef Shin­oda is try­ing to May 2013 – June 2014

Chef de Cui­sine, Watat­sumi, Le Meri­dien Mina Seyahi, Dubai.

June 2011 – May 2013

Chef de Cui­sine, Tokyo @

The Tower, Jumeirah Emi­rates Tow­ers, Dubai.

Fe­bru­ary 2009 – June 2011 Ex­ec­u­tive sous chef, Emi­rates Cater­ing, Dubai.

spread the essence of ta­mashii among his col­leagues by en­cour­ag­ing them to em­brace the pas­sion.

“The Dubai culi­nary scene is a tough one, in­cred­i­bly fast mov­ing and highly sat­u­rated. We are see­ing a very high turnover at the mo­ment, with con­cepts open­ing and clos­ing at an alarm­ing rate and in my ex­pe­ri­ence those who com­pro­mise on the con­cept or food qual­ity are un­able to sur­vive,” he says.

“At Atisuto, we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that our ta­mashii or soul, is at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do, how­ever one of our key chal­lenges is ed­u­cat­ing the team on the im­por- tance of ta­mashii. For the Ja­panese, it’s a way of life but when you’re work­ing with a team from dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties, it can take a while for them to fully un­der­stand and em­brace it.

“Those that don't un­der­stand the ta­mashii phi­los­o­phy can some­times get im­pa­tient hav­ing to per­form the same task over and over again un­til they get it right. How­ever, once fully un­der­stood and em­braced, Ta­mashii makes a big dif­fer­ence and that is when we see them cre­at­ing food with pas­sion, which is what the phi­los­o­phy is all about,” he adds.

This is also an as­pect that young chefs en­ter­ing the in­dus­try should con­sider be­fore be­gin­ning their pro­fes­sional ca­reer, ac­cord­ing to Chef Shin­oda.

“Hos­pi­tal­ity is an in­cred­i­bly fun in­dus­try which can open up doors to a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties, but it doesn’t come easy, you have to be pre­pared to work hard and have a lot of pa­tience,” he ex­plains.

“Chefs should choose their jobs care­fully, work­ing with restau­rants where they feel the soul. The days and nights can be long so make sure you like the peo­ple and the con­cept you are work­ing with and stay with it. In a dy­namic city like Dubai, it can be all too tempt­ing to move on to the next thing, whether it be an ex­cit­ing new open­ing or per­ceived pro­mo­tion, but I am a big be­liever that if you put time into each role, your ex­pe­ri­ence will be bet­ter.”

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