Dishes must have chef’s philosophy. I’d like to make “Teshima Ryuji’s dish” which reflects my philosophy

Restaurant PAGES
Teshima Ryuji

Restaurant PAGES Teshima Ryuji

What Mr. Teshima thinks as an owner and what he has found

Did anything change about you since you opened your own restaurant ?

Mr. Teshima :
What I see and how I am seen have changed. Actually, it took quite a while that I found it.
Initially I was puzzled that how I was seen has changed, although my perspectives were unchanged. A chef and an owner chef are very different from a viewpoint of team members.

Are there any hardships in hiring and educating people?

Mr. Teshima :
Lack of talent in the food and beverage industry is really serious. I think that the chef will become extinct. I suppose the situation is the same in Japan.
At the beginning of opening a restaurant, securing talented people was so hard. There used to be many people who would like to work as a chef, even it is unpaid or is not well paid, but now it is one of the professions. Many people want to get salaries by working on a fixed time.
This is the same for every restaurant, and it is hard to recruit people no matter how famous Parisian three starred restaurants are. If you are sending a resume, it will be relatively easy to be hired.

Therefore, I am currently promoting a project to create longing for “chefs” in Japan.
The aim is to feature individual chefs and to recognize the chef as one of the wonderful occupations. The goal is to making a chef within 10th place in the ranking of all occupations like a doctor or a lawyer. For that, I think that we must also improve treatment of chefs. I would like to make the world where general customers can appreciate chefs more properly, pay enough and recognize the names of each chefs.
I hope, for example, the public knows about the name of a three-starred chef, and when a prominent chef dies, its name will appear in the newspaper and it will be memorialized ….

What is the attraction of the food industry for you?

Mr. Teshima :
I like eating and making better than anything else. In addition, making visible results is refreshing. I am proud of me as a professional by making such results.

Currently, it is said that the food and drink industry in France and Japan are in harsh environments. How do you see the market environment of Paris in France?

Mr. Teshima :
As for how to work, I think that France is more advanced than Japan. In France we value pay and holidays. I feel that the sense of the Japanese is not catching up yet. I think that Japan must reach there. French people take time with their families and focus on their time.

How do you feel about your current team?

Mr. Teshima :
It’s really nice. Only positive people are here. There are five cooks in the kitchen: Japanese, French, Italian, Malaysian and one Japanese patissier, six in all. Servers are Japanese and French. We are an international team.

You keep one star. To what are you pay attention for building a good team? How do you motivate them ?

Mr. Teshima :
Make them understand our policy. In addition, see the individual qualities. Human nature is very important.

I think that winning stars of Michelin is a present for everyone in the team. In the food and beverage industry, having worked with a starred restaurant is a positive factor. You can use it for a proof of progress your career and for salary negotiation to work at a highly rated restaurant. As a chef, I do not feel the pressure of winning or maintaining a Michelin star, but I feel the importance of a star in the sense that it is for my team.

Restaurant PAGES Teshima Ryuji

The perspectives of Mr. Teshima

What do you aim for from now about your cookings ?

Mr. Teshima :
I want to make a dish whose my personality was projected as a dish of “PAGES”. For example, it is a dish that you can tell that it is my cooking just by looking at the pictures of my dishes. Mr. Alain Passard, whom I respect, has his personality in his dishes, so when I see a photograph of his dish in a magazine, I can recognize it only by looking that photographs and it’s always right. It is not too much mode, there is not too much identity. I want my cooking to be essential.

Are there people or things you are interested in recently?

Mr. Teshima :
I am studying umami. In a way different from the way we do in Japan, I thought that I could make soup without using seaweed, bonito flakes or mushrooms. The reputation was good when I served it to the customer. I would like to continue this study.
What I am interested in is Tokyo. I know only a little about that. The culture of Tokyo has thick layers and it is deep. I always work on filling things I do not know, but I wonder if this depth can be filled. I think that the world of sushi is also very interesting about everything, such as business style and technique of cooking.

What are your perspectives ?

Mr. Teshima :
I would like to create an environment where people working here can go to each next stages. Everyone is working with their own perspective. So, I support to make them move forward.

Then, do you actively hire candidates with independent mind ?

Mr. Teshima :
That is not the case. People working in the food and drink industry are not only people with independent mind, so I respond to each individual’s motivation. There are young people who have just finished the school and started their career and can not understand what they say as the prospects. For such young people, I try to make them being interested in cooking with their passion first of all. According to each individual’s growth stage as a professional, I try to support them to go to their next stage.

Now, people who become cooks are overwhelmingly small. There used to be a famous chef who appears in media frequently. Some chefs aimed to become such a person. That was exciting. There is no such mood in the food and drink industry now. It is the state where each one is doing in each one’s mood.
I would like to help each one to aim for his/her own goal in such an environment.

I could have my own restaurant fortunately, but I could not easily understand how to do it at first although I wanted to. Many people just pass the days on doing nothing as they don’t know where to start. Chefs are tend to have ambition on having their own restaurant to try their own ability. I would like to reach out to those people as much as possible.

Please give us a message to young chefs.

Mr. Teshima :
I felt something when I talked with Mr. Michel Troisgros, a chef of a three Michelin star restaurant, the other day. Please let me tell you the story about that. He is in a transitional period that the generation changes to his son Mr. César Troisgros for the restaurant he took over from his great father.
“The current generation is born in a very good time compared to our generation. Ours had not such good internet connection, easy access to information, and good environments like now. You do not have to do the same thing now and do not have to repeat the same thing I do not want it. I want young people to make better cooking in this environment.” Mr. Michel Troisgros said.

By listening to his opinion, I thought that we should make something which satisfies our customers according to the taste and sensitivity of customers of the present era, because we are in this era. Actually this was exactly the same thing as what I thought when I was young. It was shocking that I remembered this now thanks to Mr. Michel Troisgros after so many years. After I got old, I noticed that I was about to make a mistake which I thought I would never make when I was young.
As I thought when I was young, young people do not have to repeat the same things. I think that we can make something which satisfies our customers according to the times.

(Listener: Yoko Ishiguro, sentence: Yoko Ishiguro, photo: Pierre-Olivier)

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0033 (0) 1 47 20 74 94
4, rue Auguste Vacquerie 75116 Paris
Reservation is also possible from the website. (Japanese-French English response)
Tuesday - Saturday (from 12:00 to 13:30 night from 19:30 to 21:00)
Monday / Sunday