The strategy of “waiting.” This simple skill results in 1,000 rivals becoming 100.
If you have an apprentice, what would you like to tell them?
I would like to share with them the importance of waiting, even in tough situations.
Let’s say there are 1,000 rivals out there. They are all experiencing the same hardships, so if you wait for three months, or six months or so, the rivals decrease to 500. And if you wait for six months or a year, your rivals number 300 or 100, decreasing even more.
But being patient carries the image of enduring something very tough. That’s why it’s important to think of “waiting” as something with a bright hope beyond it. “Waiting” is actually “moving forward,” and is positive.
In that way, young chefs today will quit and do so a bit too early.
If they waited a little more, I think they could gain the benefits on the other side.
Expectations of Japanese chefs in France
Are there any downsides to having a restaurant in France as a Japanese chef?
It is the opposite, actually; there are customers who visit just because of the Japanese chef.
Nowadays, there are many Japanese chefs being acknowledged, and customers will eat our food and visit us because they enjoyed it. It’s almost like a new era for French people; they tour and eat French food prepared by Japanese chefs.
I see. Lastly, please tell me about your dreams.
It is not exactly a dream, but before my body starts breaking down, I would like to run an auberge* in France’s countryside. Work in vegetable gardens and fields, and feed the animals by myself.
I think it might be difficult to do it all, but I would like to get as close to the roots of the ingredients as possible, and then cook with them.
It would be great to have it near Paris so I can come back whenever I feel lonely.
*Auberge: a restaurant with an inn, usually in the suburbs and rural areas
(Interview and writer: Juro Maeda Photographer: Yurina Niihara)