After returning to Japan, just as Yoshino was about to start working in Japan, an invitation arrives from France.
What did you do upon returning to Japan?
Actually, I changed my plan soon after. Two weeks after seeing my mother, I was back in France. To me, I had some unfinished things lingering inside me in France. So I organized my thoughts and decided to return to finish these things. In other words, I went back to say goodbye to France.
After returning to Japan for the second time, I was set on giving it my all and started to work. I worked for two years as a chef at Hikaritei in Akasaka and at the invitation of the general manager, I was even involved in the management restructuring of L’eau à la Bouche at Aoyama, Tokyo. After that, I received an invitation from an acquaintance to open a restaurant together. We opened a restaurant named Stella Maris in Odawara.
But during all that time, I kept thinking that I wanted to start a restaurant in France. In Japan, I will always have to make French cuisine for Japanese people in Japan. I wasn’t satisfied with that.
With that feeling buried deep in me, after working for about two years at Stella Maris, I received an invitation to start a restaurant in France. When I heard about this, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So I immediately said yes and left Stella Maris in the charge of another person and left for France.
You immediately opened a restaurant in France?
No, unfortunately, sometimes life isn’t all peachy. I was told that I would be the head chef of a branch of a major restaurant but for one reason or another we could not open the restaurant and all I did was wait around. I got caught up in various complicated problems.
In the meantime, I joined trainings and cooked in Morocco and Costa Rica, but there was a period where I was just standing by at home for about two years. But I changed my mindset and took it as a break from working so hard for so long and as a time to study. It was at this time when I had the chance to learn golf and eat in every single restaurant with Michelin 2-star ratings in the whole of France.
In the end, I kept waiting around for four and a half years. Then, I had some land rights problem back at home and ultimately, I was forced to leave with the project unfinished.