In conversation with Chef Nobu

The legendary Chef shares insights on his journey, his passions and what makes his restaurants tick.

Your career has taken you all over the world, sharing your culinary creations with thousands. How do you tie it back to your first sushi apprenticeship in Tokyo?

Tokyo is where I first started. I am Japanese, so the 1st time I went to a sushi restaurant was with my brother in Tokyo. I was very surprised with the warm welcome (Irasshaimase).
It was at this moment that I decided to become a Sushi Chef. Everything ties back to this first experience.

Val d’Isère is a major winter destination, and its slopes draw skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.What do you like to do when in the mountains? Will we find you on the slopes this winter?

I do not ski, but I really like the mountains. I like to have coffee or lunch outside when it’s sunny, surrounded by tall peaks.

Matsuhisa Val d’Isère is your second collaboration with Airelles, after Saint-Tropez. What is it you like about the brand and its maisons that encouraged you to grow this partnership?

My partner Tasos Ioannidis met the owner and team of Airelles. We opened the first restaurant in St. Tropez in Château de la Messardière, which was very successful. We built a really good relationship with trust and mutual respect and decided to open a second restaurant together in Val d’Isere.


Generous sharing platters, delicious cocktails and great music mean that your restaurants have become festive as well as foodie destinations. How did you come up with that mix? And how do you keep it relevant from season to season?  

We are a restaurant with good food and good service. We love seeing customers smile and having positive energy. The music in the background helps to keep the atmosphere full of that energy, however the main driver comes from the service and the chefs. They are the stars of all our restaurants.

Movie buffs have seen you appear alongside Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s Casino and with Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh in Memoirs Of A Geisha.Are you passionate about cinema? Do you see any similarities between filmmaking and cooking?

I am a chef, not an actor, but when Robert offered me a cameo I did it and I liked it a lot. But once again, I am a chef. My passion is cooking. The similarity between cooking and cinema is that, in both fields, you have to be passionate in order to succeed.


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