The Wordrobe talks motivational mouthfuls with world-class chef Nobu Matsuhisa
“Passion first – then product and respect. Respect is very important.” Known across the globe for his innovative and exceptional dishes that combine South American influences with his traditional Japanese techniques, chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa shows no sign of slowing down.
The Wordrobe’s editor Sophie Ritchie chats all things delicious to find out more about the man behind the worldwide brand during a chance meeting at Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa in Marbella.
How did you become a chef?
It was always my dream to become a sushi chef. I knew from around the age of 12 that this was what I wanted. I learnt from working – there was no special sushi school back then. I learnt step by step.
Did you have an role models?
My mother. She always cooked for the kids, and I was always with her when she cooked. She sparked my interest in it completely.
Describe your food philosophy in three words…
Passion first – then product and respect. Respect is very important.
Do you have any ultimate career highlights?
My mother passed away a few years ago at the age of 93. I opened my first restaurant back in 1987. In 1989, I invited her to visit my very first restaurant in Los Angeles – and I was able to cook for her. I’ve cooked for a lot of celebrities, famous people… but this was the most special guest for me. This was the most memorable.
I was also able to cook for Princess Diana in London too before she passed away – back in 1997. I was so excited to meet her – but when I introduced myself, she knew me already. She had eaten at my restaurant… I was so impressed!
What keeps you inspired – what’s drive behind your passion?
I’ve been cooking all my life and travelling across the world. I cooked for a big group a few weeks ago in Tokyo – I loved to see all of the guests smiling after I cooked for them. To see them happy – this moment is the best moment for me. That’s why I keep going. Cooking is my passion and I love to see smiling, happy guests. Including my family… and especially my wife!
When you’re at home and relaxing, what is your favourite midnight snack?
When I’m at home with no one around, I like to relax – to just be quiet and enjoy myself. I love snacking on nuts – but when I start, I can’t stop! I like a bowl of ice cream too!
We spoke to Nobu San at Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa in Marbella during the A Quatro Manos gastronomic festival hosted by Michelin Star Chef Dani Garcia.