Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto named 'icon' of Asian gastronomy

Chef Seiji Yamamoto, Nihonryori RyuGin — Picture courtesy of Asia's 50 Best via AFP
Chef Seiji Yamamoto, Nihonryori RyuGin — Picture courtesy of Asia's 50 Best via AFP

TOKYO, Feb 13 — Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori RyuGin fame has been named the inaugural honouree of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Icon Award.

Ahead of the gala event next month, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards announced the winner of their inaugural American Express Icon Award, launched to honor chefs worthy of international recognition, who have made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry over their career to date or in recent years.

Yamamoto has been a regular on the international haute gastronomy circuit for his kaiseki restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin, where he produces masterful Japanese tasting menus that reflect the local seasonal ingredients.

Last summer, the chef relocated his flagship restaurant to Tokyo's new Hibiya Midtown luxury development in a space three times the size of the original establishment.

Some of his specialties include the Japanese delicacy fugu, also known as deadly puffer fish, and Matsuba crab, which are served when in season.

“Japanese cuisine is a way of celebrating the richness of our culture and the beauty of our natural environment,” Yamamoto said in a statement. “I am very grateful that the members of the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Academy have recognised my efforts and honored me with this prestigious award. I will continue to innovate and introduce Japanese culture and culinary traditions to diners from around the world.”

Nihonryori RyuGin also holds three Michelin stars and is currently ranked ninth on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Yamamoto's restaurant portfolio also includes restaurants in Hong Kong (Tenku RyuGin) and Taipei (Shoun Ryugin).

Winners of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants will be announced at a gala event March 26 in Macau. — AFP-Relaxnews

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