Never miss out on chances. When things get tough, change your mindset by coming up with different ideas

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza
Tateru Yoshino

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza Tateru Yoshino

Choosing to work as a restaurant manager and expanding his business in Japan

Although you continued to work at Stella Maris, you opened a French restaurant in Japan in 2003. What was the reason behind that?

Mr. Yoshino:
Stella Maris in Paris received very good ratings but we were still unable to obtain a Michelin star rating, something which I’ve always wanted. The restaurant was featured in the newspaper as a nominee for a Michelin 3-star rating, though.

About five years later, I thought that I had given it my all in Paris but I still hadn’t gotten the Michelin stars (lol). In that case, I decided to switch my mindset from then on to try different ways of working and delved into business.

I opened a restaurant at Shiba Park Restaurant in Japan in 2003. This was when I first started working in business.

I didn’t go back to Japan for a long time after arriving in France in 1992. But from that moment on, for the next 10 years, every two weeks, I went back and forth between Paris and Tokyo.

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza cuisine

Provided by the restaurant: tateru yoshino

You subsequently opened other types of restaurants in Japan and you still run many of them today. How do you oversee their management?

Mr. Yoshino:
We use our smartphones a lot. We communicate by sending photos to one another. I tell them to contact me on my phone anytime something happens.

I usually come up with the general menu and give them further instructions. Having said that, the chefs at each of the restaurant have been working under me for so many years, we have very good chemistry and work in a compatible manner, both in our mannerisms and habits.

And in 2006, Stella Maris obtained the long-awaited Michelin star rating?

Mr. Yoshino:
Because I didn’t receive the stars, I finally chose to focus on my business so when I did receive the stars, I was really moved, almost incredulous. I received the call from Paris when I was in Kikaijima. I was sick of hearing all the buzz that I would receive the stars so I didn’t believe it at first. I even said, “Okay, show me the proof.” (lol).

Stella Maris closed in 2013. Why?

Mr. Yoshino:
There is only one reason, which is that I grew tired of going back and forth between Tokyo and Paris. Because when I was in Japan, I also needed to go to Wakayama and Naoshima, etc.

But this is just drawing the curtains on one project. Even if the restaurant is closed, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end.
Actually, I started to miss it after closing it. I also miss France. If somebody asks me if I wanted to start a restaurant in France now, I would happily say yes.

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza cuisine

Provided by the restaurant: tateru yoshino

Being the top of several restaurants

As the leader of many restaurants, what do you keep in mind when leading your members?

Mr. Yoshino:
Working in the kitchen and making food is a team effort. So I think it is important to recruit collaborative people who are able to acknowledge and respect others. It is honestly difficult to cultivate this. So what I do is I evaluate the person based on whether or not they have this potential.

Today, people look for originality in chefs. How can we cultivate this originality?

Mr. Yoshino:
That’s a tricky question. Sometimes, something may change just by looking at paintings, enjoying the sceneries of the fields, and visiting the ocean and the markets. But I think that the most important thing is to read classic recipe books.

One of my favorite books is the travel memoir written by the father of Alexandre Dumas (*2). When reading that, I think , “Ahh… the Cavaillon melon (*3),” picture the background in my mind, and think about pursuing that in my cooking. That’s something I do. Other than food, I think it’s also important to have a traveling spirit and enjoy the romance of travel.

*2: 19th century French writer and playwright. Some of his famous works include “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

*3: City in the Provence region in the south of France. The city is famous for its melons.

As a final question, please tell us about your dream for the future.

Mr. Yoshino:
I cook French cuisine, so after all, I would like to challenge myself to new heights in countries which use forks and knives. France is nice, but I’m actually thinking of starting something in the United States. For example, San Francisco in the West Coast, New York, or Hawaii would be nice.

There’s no end to cooking. I still have things I want to pursue and I think there’s still more I can achieve.

(Listener: Saito Akira, Sentence: Aramaki Yoko, Photo: Tomoyasu Imbe)

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza table set
Provided by the restaurant: tateru yoshino

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza interior

Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Ginza

12th floor of PIAS GINZA 4-8-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, Hibiya Line "Ginza Station" A 7 Exit Walk 2 Minutes
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Subway Asakusa Line "East Ginza Station" A 2 Exit Walk 1 min
Lunch 11: 30 ~ 14: 00 (L.O.)
Dinner: 18: 00 ~ 21: 00 (L.O.)
None (Except January 1st)