Nobu Matsuhisa: A Celebrity Chef


Photo credit here.

As we all know, Asian food is immensly popular in the United States. It’s hard to find a town without a Mexican restaurant and an Asian buffet. While the Nobu Matsuhisa may not run an Asian buffet, the principle remains the same: the food of the far east is loved by the people of the west. That is why we have chosen to do a profile on our top Asian-American celebrity chef: Nobu Matsuhisa.

Noba Matsuhisa is a celebrity chef who blends Asian cuisine with South American flavors. He was born in Saitama, Japan and lived there until a regular at his Japanese restaurant there invited him to come to Peru and open a Japanese restaurant. He was unable to find the regular ingredients he used in Japan in Peru, therefore he improvised. This lead to his unique blend of South American cuisine and Japenase cuisine which made his restaurant one of the many interesting places to visit in Peru.

After being in Peru for awhile, Nobu headed to Alaska where he opened a restaurant that was shortly therefore destroyed by a fire. He then moved to Los Angeles and worked as a chef at a Japanese restaurant there for a while. After opening his restaurant that became an instant hit in LA, Nobu befriended Robert DeNiro. DeNiro invited him to open a restaurant in NY, NOBU, which again was an instant classic.

After years of work, there are now NOBU restaurants in in Milan, London, Greece, Dallas, Tokyo, Honolulu, Moscow, Dubai, Budapest, and Hong Kong.

Nobu Matsuhisa is a great example of utilizing his strengths, and his background, to find success. His friends, like DeNiro and the Pervian, helped him along the way, but it was his uniqueness and his interesting blend that really catapulted him onto another level.

Other notable Asian-American chefs are:

  • Ming Tsai
  • Anita Lo
  • Alan Wong
  • Patricia Yeo
  • David Chang
  • Alex Lee
  • Hung Huynh
  • Charles Phan
  • Cristeta Comerford

[the original list can be found here]

It’s no secret that Asian chefs have found a lot of success in the US. However, as is clear from the story of Nobu, to experience the ‘true Asian food’ one must, perhaps, venture to Asia. While the recipe can be the same, the food still tastes slightly different due to the raw ingredients being grown differently, soil types, and all sorts of other variables.

True Asian cuisine can only be found in Asia. However, if you want something that is about as close as it can get, pick a restaurant owned by one of the above people and you will be in for a treat.