It all began about 10 years ago when,freshly graduated from law school, I decided to travel the world! With just my backpack and a few euro from my summer jobs.
Chapter I : South east Asia or the infinite inspiration!
A whole new panel of flavors I had never tried in my life was thrown directly to my face. For me it was in Bangkok, Thaïland. The moment I got out of the cab into the downtown chaos, I was submerged by the smell of food which was coming not from restaurants like I was used to but from all the street food stalls. Think Pad thaï, fried rice, fresh fruit, charcoal grilled fish or chicken, indian roti, banana shake…And this was just the begining, cause once you taste it you can’t quite stop.
To me, there is no better way to discover a country and its culture than tasting its gastronomy and “Street food” allows anybody and everybody to do so.
Chapter II : Working visas in New Zealand, Australia and Cananda.
After saving his wages from the Nagano apprenticeship, Chef Sakamoto took out a loan and opened Chotto Kai, his first restaurant in Tokyo. Using simple, seasonal ingredients, he was able to bring the luxury of kaiseki to all. Because he incorporated some of the Hong Kong flavors his mother had inspired in him, Chotto Kai was both a huge success and a unique contribution to Tokyo’s culinary landscape.
During his eighth year at Chotto Kai, he befriended ramen shop owner Rei Fukui. Chef Sakamoto had stopped by her front stall for a quick dinner and fell instantly in love with her take on the springy yet soft noodle. Every ingredient was meticulously prepared, just like each kaiseki course.