Foodion | Professional principles of first class chefs/cooks

Ideal shop producing sits beyond improving one’s self greedily, taking a lot of time.

Masahiko Yoneyama
In order to continue Triathlon which he was into during college days, the job that he chose was a baker, with a image of early closing time. He was trained under Mr. Takaaki Nishikawa of Comme Chinois, Kansai’s representative Boulangerie. (Currently works at Ca Marche) and started on his own in 2004. Way that Mr. Yoneyama shows respect to materials is reflected to his colorful breads made by organic vegetables of contracted farmers. All his 4 stores in Kansai are all popular with full of people. We took a chance to ask how he has brushed his mindset as a baker who plays active role in the bakery field.

Way of a baker in order to continue Triathlon

Could you tell us why you decided to be a baker?

Mr. Yoneyama:
I misunderstood that bakeries start early in the morning so closing time is also early. At first I wanted to continue Triathlon that I had been doing since my college days, so I was looking for a job that I can spare time for training. Other than a baker I also applied for Chuo Oroshiuri Ichiba market. It was a choice came along my life style.

At last I narrowed down to bakeries and got 2 unofficial offers from 2 companies, and one of them said I had to start from delivery, so I chose another one which I could start from actual breads making. That was the old classic bakery in Kobe called, “Cascade” .


The word of one part time worker that made baker’s world to a fun environment.

So you started with no experience at all?

Mr. Yoneyama:
Yes, Actually I graduated on the same year when Hanshin Earthquake happened, and since “Cascade” was a bakery based in Nishinomiya main branch, my entry was postponed indefinitely. I also lived in Higashi Nada area where the damage was critical, so my house was collapsed totally and we were all forced to live separately. I only had bake breads once so I did not have any experience.

At last I was able to enter in June, which was 2 months delayed, and I started at Central factory. When I was placed at each shop, I was taught from the basic from my seniors about baking breads. I can recall that a female part time staff told me, “You can do really well. I have never seen someone given such opportunities after a week.” and I was very glad.

I actually was very confident when it comes to work. That word made me enjoy work up until now when I entered bakery field.


Was your family environment grounded for craftsman?

Mr. Yoneyama:
My father also very skillful, making anything using woods, and my mother was a knitting teacher so perhaps she was also not lacking skills. But I never thought I was suited. I have a brother who is 3 years older than I, and he was very good at painting and sculpture. Only part I was better was just physical education. My grandfather was a craftsman using metals, but everyone in my family used to say, “Grandfather’s genes were passed to the older brother.”.

That is why I went for Triathlon, and when I got the job, none of my parents expected me to become a craftsman, so they only said, “We will buy you a suit. “ The time when I realized I am skillful was when I started to see work of my staff members after my independence.


 The next step to brush myself in order to continue life-time work.

In this field how do people take steps to become a real craftsman? And how did you practice when you entered the company?

Mr. Yoneyama:
At “Cascade” I learned from oven. Cream pan (Rolls filled with cream) and anpan ( breads filled with anko.) were the best sellers and there was a particular time and temperature for baking them, so they were best for the new learners to study the process for the first time. At “Comme Chinois”, which I worked the longest, oven was considered as a final ascertainment process, so every store has different ways by policies of each chef and kinds of breads they sell. For example, in such big stores in Tokyo only bakers who are at a certain level in kneading breads that requires skills are given chances for hard type breads like baguettes. By the way, at “PAINDUCE”, dough making and oven are considered as difficult process which requires much skills of craftsmen, so they were assigned to veterans.


How long did you work at “Cascade” ?

Mr. Yoneyama:

3 years. I was assigned to the store and after 2 or 3 years, I was managing as a second guy, and also assigned the number part. And I thought and realized, “It is impossible to continue such job for life which can be mastered in 3 years.”
That means there is more possibility for potential competitors.
Back then I was already married and had a child, so thinking of my future I told myself,
“I need to go to the higher level.”, then I aimed for the next step.


Your speed in decision making is very quick all the time.

Mr. Yoneyama:

If I think now, I can think that this way of thinking was quite immature though. But after experiencing Hanshin Earthquake my sense of speed was surely changed. There must be other people who had been impacted by the earthquake more to their lives, but even for myself, I faced death of my neighbors and classmates. I faced the reality that you never know when you die. So deep inside of me there is a mindset that I should immediately do what I want to do without a regret and make a mark quickly.


4-3-1 Awazicho Chuo-ku Osaka city Fobous building 1F
4 minutes' walk from Osaka subway Line Honmachi station
Parking is not available
Store hours
Saturday, Holiday 8:00-18:00
Days closed

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