Kei Kobayashi becomes first Japanese chef to win three Michelin stars
Chef Kei Kobayashi has become the first-ever Japanese chef to win the highly-coveted three Michelin stars for his restaurant, Kei.
The 42-year-old was the biggest winner on Monday night during the ceremony – which marked a big win for Japanese chefs in the French capital of cuisine.
Kazuyuki Tanaka won two stars for Racine, his French restaurant in the city of Reims. Yasunari Okazaki also notched up two stars, for his Franco-Japanese restaurant in Paris.
“Thank you, France,” said Kobayashi during the awards ceremony.
“There are lots of Japanese chefs now in France, and you have accepted us and given us a place”.
Some Dubai residents might already be familiar with Kobayashi’s works. In 2017 the chef announced a partnership with upmarket Japanese eatery Sushi Art, putting his own signature creations on the menu.
Kobayashi admitted that his perfectionism can sometimes take its toll on his team, and turns him into a “difficult person” to work with. “I am quite hard,” he said, “I ask a lot of my team, and then I ask a lot more.
Who is Chef Kei Kobayashi?
The Japanese chef opened his restaurant Kei in the centre of Paris nine years ago and has since wowed diners with his signature dishes such as sea bass cooked with its own scales, and smoked salmon cooked with a lemon emulsion.
Previously, Kobayashi has worked under legendary chefs such as Gilles Goujon and Alain Ducasse.
The Michelin Guide describes Kobayashi’s cooking as “delicate and memorable”.
“It is very simple. Every dish that Kei turns the rigour of his attention to is called on to become a signature one,” it states.
Kobayashi runs his 30-table restaurant along with his wife, Chitako.