Yoshihiro Narisawa (成澤由浩) is a Japanese chef and owner of the two-Michelin star restaurant Narisawa in Tokyo. His restaurant was voted the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, and includes four times as "The Best of Asia". He started his career in France, Switzerland and Italy; however now he has been focusing on the local organic ingredients in Japan and delivers them as "Innovative Satoyama Cuisine" with seasonal innovations. In Japan, while the majority of chefs focus on sushi, Yoshihiro Narisawa was one of the first chefs to introduce modernist cooking to Japan, fusing his French background with traditional Japanese cuisine. Narisawa left Japan when he was a late teenager at the age of 19 and worked in some of the best European restaurants, spending time in the kitchens of Joël Robuchon, Fredy Girardet, and Paul Bocuse for eight years before he moved back to Japan. He opened his first own restaurant in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture and named it La Napule, but his most devoted guests came from Tokyo so he decided to relocate to the center of Tokyo in November 2003. While Narisawa’s philosophy behind his dishes is decidedly Japanese, focusing on seasonal local ingredients and dishes themed around nature, his French background is evident in his high level of technical execution, bringing to his cuisine the best of both worlds. He is dedicated to sourcing the best local organic ingredients, using every part of a small fish for the guests to eat for instance, while giving special attention to bread, a European favorite, which is freshly baked tableside in front of diners.
Narisawa's world famous 'forest bread' rises above a tealight and is then baked tableside in a 300C stone mortar, releasing amazing aromas of maple.
Narisawa's trademark ingredient is sumi, ashes made from carbonized leeks which are cured for 3 days. The ashes have a cleansing effect on the body.
He strives for perfection, once working with university professors and chemistry researchers to determine the ideal temperature for cooking red meat.
He built a pool below his restaurant to holds the live fish, shrimp, and langoustines that are delivered each morning straight from the fisherman.
His dedication to nature is profound, incorporating themes from nature into his dishes like 'earth' and 'sea', and recreating landscapes on the plate.
Narisawa was named San Pellegrino's 'Best Restaurant in Asia' and was the first Japanese restaurant to join the 'Worlds 50 Best Restaurants' list.