Close up with: Motokazu Nakamura

Motokazu Nakamura was selected by Yoshihiro Murata as one of the most significant chefs working today for Coco, Phaidon’s comprehensive book on who to watch in the culinary world. Nakamura has owned the 200-year-old Nakamura restaurant since 2006, having trained at Tenryū-ji, the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism in Kyoto.

Nakamura serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, and opened in 1827 (though its current incarnation is not the original building). The current head chef is 6th generation: Motokazu Nakamura. – See more at: http://www.andyhayler.com/restaurant/nakamura#sthash.7UQpluUe.dpuf
Nakamura serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, and opened in 1827 (though its current incarnation is not the original building). The current head chef is 6th generation: Motokazu Nakamura. – See more at: http://www.andyhayler.com/restaurant/nakamura#sthash.7UQpluUe.dpuf

Q: How has your approach to cooking changed since your inclusion in Coco?




I’ve experimented with different approaches; Spiritual, scientific, traditional and so on
.


あらゆる方向に向いている。精神性、科学的、慣習的、日常性、などなど。

Kaiseki master, Motokazu Nakamura

Kaiseki master, Motokazu Nakamura

Q: Which of the other chefs included in the book do you feel closest to?



No one in particular, but every chef appearing in this sort of book is distinguished, and highly respected, I can learn from them, and I have an interest in all of them.

特定の人はいないが、こういう本に出てくるシェフ達は皆優れているものがあるわけですし、感銘を受けることもあれば、参考になることも多く、皆に興味がある。

Q: Which recipe are you most proud of creating or re-inventing? 


“Amadai no Sakayaki” (Grilled Tilefish) and “Karashi Zouni” ( a take on a traditional new year’s dish)

甘鯛の酒焼、辛子雑煮

Q: Good food and cooking is a mixture of many things, what elements do you feel underpin good cooking? 


Food that impresses…that moves and astonishes us.

感銘、感動、、驚き

Q: Can you tell me about your approach to cooking and creating new recipes? Do you start from the same point or do different dishes always require a different approach?


Its instinctive, like pulling out the antenna, zeroing in, trying to grab hold of or catch something – ideas from daily life, from holidays or nature or anything, just come gushing to the surface. And then I taste it. When it doesn’t go well, I have a few tricks to ensure I can realize my vision for the dish. I can usually figure out the right thing to do.

常に少しでも料理を意識し、アンテナを張り、いいものをキャッチできるようにし、日々の生活、休日、自然、その他色々な中にイメージがわくようにしておく。そしてそれを試してみる。うまく行かない時はいろんな方法でイメージに近付くようする。
いろんなメソッドも常に取り入れるようにするのも必須である。



Q: Who do you most admire in the world of cooking today? 



Ferran Adrià

Q: Who would you most like to cook for and why?

People who love to eat. People who have never had real Japanese before

食べることに非常に興味があり、日本料理を食べた経験のない人

Q: Where do you like to eat on a night out?

Some easy place with the family (I have young kids)

外食をするときにどういうところへ食べに行きますか。

家族で気軽に行けるところ(子供が小さいから)

Q: What’s your advice for aspiring chefs?

Define your own style (do it the hard way)

自分のスタイルの確立(遠回りをして)

Q: What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out?



At first, it’s more about getting used to the practical side of things than theorizing.

最初は理論より、体が臨機応変に状況に応じて対応できること



Q: What’s your view of today’s restaurant community and the state of the food industry at large?

We have to think how restaurants can cater to the customer’s needs and desires whilst maintaining a viable business.

現在のレストラン*コミュニティーと料理産業の状態に対してどう考えますか。

ユーザーの要望は多様化し、経営もそのあたりのニーズをしっかりつかみながら、自社の料理を提供するにはどうすべきかを考えて行く必要がある。

Q: How do you see the future of cooking?


The fusing of world cuisines is taking place. For instance, in Japan traditional sushi is the norm, but under foreign influence, there are new types of sushi emerging. But, I do fear that the more internationalized food becomes, the more the distinctiveness of each country’s cuisine is lost.

世界的にはいろんな国の料理が融合して存在。例えば日本の寿司ならば日本の伝統的な寿司も
主流であり、他国と融合して、その融合度合いの違いでいろんなタイプの寿司屋が存在するような感じ。インターナショナルな料理になればなるほど、その自国の特異性はへって行くであると考える。

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