I’ve always set a goal first. Then I have achieved each plan by working backwards from my goal

Seiichi Honda
Zurriola Seiichi Honda

Zurriola Seiichi Honda

His childhood and love of seeing ingredients. Naturally chose to pursue a path to the cooking industry.

What made you decide to become a chef?

Mr. Honda :
My parents had a fish shop so I naturally liked seeing and touching such ingredients. I still like to eat and touch fish. It is so much fun to see them. That’s the kind of environmen I grew up in; I had already thought about working in the food industry when I was still a child. That’s why I did my apprenticeship at a French restaurant after graduating from high school. However, I didn’t plan to stay in Japan for a long time, and planned instead to go to France as soon as I was ready. Of course that’s the best path if you want to learn French cuisine. Because no foreign chefs who have never come to Japan would open a Japanese restaurant in their own country, right? I thought like that.

How did you manage to save money and study the language before moving to France?

Mr. Honda :
Actually, I’d saved quite a lot by the time I graduated from high school. I had already decided my career path toward the end of my final year of high school so I thought, “Well, I don’t need to go to school anymore!” I lived and worked at a restaurant at a ski resort. I saved quite a lot of money working there, while also snowboarding and skiing. I had enough money to live by myself and pay the tuition fees for the language school that I went to on my days off. It’s an example of how I’ve done preparation when I thought it was needed; so I quit the restaurant and started preparing for going to France. I’d used up most of my savings so I worked part-time for a few months then sent letters to restaurants in France to find a workplace ahead of the move. I wrote letters every night. I probably wrote more than 200. I finally found a place to work, then moved to France.

Zurriola Seiichi Honda

Deciding to live in Europe for at least five years. The time began in France.

How did you spend your time after moving to France?

Mr. Honda :
After moving to France, I worked at two different restaurants in France and a restaurant in Geneva. I was interested in the Basque Provinces so I moved there. I sent letters or asked someone to introduce restaurants to me, in order to find a job. I was probably very lucky, being able to find work.

I heard that you worked as a sous chef at restaurants in the Basque Provinces. Is there anything you took special care in, in efforts to be noticed by your co-workers?

Mr. Honda :
I didn’t really think of special tactics or anything like that, but I did my best to attract the people around me. I worked in a very proactive way – asking staff if there was anything I could help with, asking a chef if I could go to the market with him, spending my spare time studying French. I studied at least one hour every day while my seniors made fun of me saying, “You study French?!” The chef saw how I made an effort in each action so they felt and recognized my seriousness.

Zurriola nameplate


6-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
3-minute walk from Exit A1 or A2 of Ginza Station on the Tokyo Metro

7-minute walk from the Ginza Exit of JR Shinbashi Station

Lunch 11:30-13:00 (last order) 

Dinner 18:00-21:00 (last order)