French style: an interview with Chef Shigeru Konno

13 Sep 2017 in Food Culture

Chef at Villa Del Sol, the restaurant of Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami, Shigeru Konno explains how he fell in love with French cuisine.

Shigeru-Konno

How did you become interested in French cuisine?

I was inspired working under Chef Toshio Tanabe in Tokyo. He showed me that simplicity and great ingredients are the key to French food.

Gastronomic fish dish

After gaining a few years’ experience in Tokyo, I headed to France to learn more. I travelled the country, working in restaurants in Paris, Burgundy, Provence and Savoie – but most of my time was spent in Marseille, in the kitchen of “Le Petit Nice”.

What did you learn during your time in France?

In Marseille, I was fascinated by how the restaurant used local ingredients. They didn’t follow recipes; they simply inspected the day’s seafood and decided how to cook it.

This is the style I’ve adopted at Villa Del Sol. I wait for the day’s catch to come in, inspect the condition of the fish – and only then do I decide what will be on the menu.

It’s always a last-minute decision – which is why we don’t have a written menu!

Chef Shigeru Konno

What is your signature dish?

Bouillabaisse – because I studied in Marseille and because Atami is also on the coast.

French recipe bouillabaisse

I’ve adapted the recipe a little: I don’t use tomatoes or orange peel in the broth, so the focus is really on the fresh flavours of the fish.

Japanese chef cooking

But I can’t make bouillabaisse every day: it depends on the catch.

From a chef’s perspective, how does Atami compare to Tokyo?

In Tokyo, you can get hold of ingredients from all over the world – which makes it more difficult to specialize.

Recipe with fish

Atami seafoood menu

Here, in Atami, we have access to some of the best seafood in Japan – and that means I’ve been able to focus 100% on seafood dishes and make it my speciality.

OTHER EXPERIENCES

ichiro-kubota

The secrets of kaiseki cuisine: an interview with Ichiro Kubota

03 May 2017 in Food Culture

Head chef at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, Ichiro Kubota has worked in France and London and is internationally known for his multi-course kaiseki cuisine. He opens up in our exclusive interview. Read more

Jingisukan

Jingisukan: Hokkaido’s grilled mutton dish

06 Jun 2018 in Food Culture

Ever tasted Japanese lamb? Discover a Hokkaido speciality named after a famous Mongol leader! Read more

apple-oil-massage

Aomori, Japan’s main apple-growing region

11 Nov 2016 in Food Culture

Only produced in Aomori prefecture in Japan, the Fuji apple is unique in the world! Discover why... Read more

OTHER EXPERIENCES

Séléction de légumes japonais

Japan: a producer of outstanding vegetables

21 Jun 2016 in Food Culture

Did you know that Japan produces fantastic vegetables? Discover the reasons and adopt the “Veggie Attitude” like the Japanese! Read more

soba-japanese-noodles

Soba, Nagano Prefecture’s star noodles

25 Jan 2017 in Food Culture

If you thought you knew all there is to know about Japanese noodles, you'll be surprised to discover these little-known recipes... Read more

baumkuchen

Baumkuchen: the German cake that’s big in Japan

06 Apr 2018 in Food Culture

How did a German cake become more popular in Japan than in its home country? We explain all! Read more

most popular articles