A TALE OF TWO CHEFS

Satoru Hashimoto
Executive Sushi Chef, NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong

Satoru Hashimoto has developed his career over the past decade at Nobu restaurants in Europe.  Most recently he worked as Head Sushi Chef at Nobu restaurants in bothMarbella and Ibiza, Spain. He also spent eight years as Sushi Chef at Nobu Berkeley Street London, where he previously worked with our NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong Executive Chef Rhys Cattermoul.

Satoru grew up in Fukushima, Japan. While attending high school in Koriyama he started working part-time at a sushi restaurant and later spent six years in Tokyo gaining experience in modern Japanese cuisine at a variety of restaurants.

It was at age 24 when his journey with the NOBU began. It’s an amazing story of passion and determination, as well as fate and destiny. After watching a Japanese TV programme on Nobu Matsuhisa, Satoru became fascinated by Nobu and his new style Japanese cuisine and set out to pursue his dream of working at NOBU restaurants internationally.

Despite not speaking a word of English, he applied for a two-year UK work visa and booked a flight to London. On the plane, he asked the lady sitting next to him for assistance in completing the UK landing card. As fate would have it, she worked as a chef at NOBU London and arranged an interview for him. Within a few days of arriving in London, he started working at NOBU Berkeley Street part-time, while studying English. That began his eight years there as Sushi Chef!

Next his career took him to Spain where he served as Head Sushi Chef at Nobu Ibiza Bay before returning to London to work at Nobu Park Lane. Satoru spent the past year and a half as Head Sushi Chef at Nobu Marbella before joining NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong this fall as Executive Sushi Chef.

What does Satoru most look forward to in his new position as Executive Sushi Chef at NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong?  “After being outside of Asia for over a decade, I am excited to be back and have access to the amazing range of top quality ingredients, not only from Japan but also fabulous local and regional products.

What inspires him? As per Satoru, “I am inspired by other chefs. I have been fortunate to get to know several high profile Michelin star chefs who frequent Nobu restaurants and sit at my sushi bar, including the 3-Michelin star Chef Dani Garcia from Spain and Pierre Koffmann of La Tante Claire in London. They give me ideas and recommendations of ingredients. I also get great ideas from my customers at the sushi bar.”

Any signature dishes or ingredients he loves to use in his dishes? “I love working with different textures of fish/seafood and creating Nobu-style special sauces and toppings for my sushi – from yuzu to truffle.

His hobbies? While living in the UK, Satoru became involved in the film industry in his free time and had a small part in an action scene in “47 Ronin” with Keanu Reeves filmed in 2013. He later starred in an avant-garde short film by director Alex Nicholson, entitled “Death of a Man”.  He was also a food stylist / coordinator for a Japanese food scene in the film Transformers: The Last Knight, filmed in London in 2017.

To experience Satoru’s new style sushi, reserve a table at NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong.

Gary Wong
Pastry Chef, Rech by Alain Ducasse

 

Originally from Canada, Gary is a Ducasse Restaurant veteran. He moved to London in 2011 to expand his culinary experience and consequently joined the opening team of the Bvlgari Hotel in 2012 as Pastry Demi Chef de Partie, when Alain Ducasse Paris was then overseeing its culinary operations.

In Fall 2013 Gary relocated to Hong Kong to be close to his family who live here. He has become an expert at restaurant and hotel openings. Most recently he worked as the opening Head Pastry Chef at MERCATO by Jean-Georges where he spent three years. He was also part of pre-opening team at the 1-Michelin star EPURE restaurant and Dalloyau (pastry boutique), where he spent two years.

Gary’s first food memories were in his native Vancouver, picking fresh plums and apples from the trees in his backyard.  Orchards with apricots and peaches were also close by in the Okanagan Valley. As per Gary, “I recall the wonderful aroma from the oven when baking fruit pies and berry crumbles. My favourite desserts are still ones made with fresh fruit.”

During his culinary training at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, he was fascinated by the scientific and technical side of pastry making – from the technique to the precision required – especially when working with sugar and chocolate. In fact, he later took a master class in sugar showpieces.

Gary gained experience working with large scale culinary operations at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, which caters to large conventions, and at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, where he was also on the opening team.

To broaden his culinary experience and discover different cuisines and techniques, he moved to London and took the opportunity to travel extensively within Europe to further explore the diverse culinary scene.

What is his favourite dessert? Gary shares, “As a pastry chef, it is difficult for me choose a favourite dessert but Baba, a Ducasse signature, is one of my favourites, as are soufflés – which I love to create with seasonal fruit. One of the joys of working at Rech by Alain Ducasse is being able to create desserts with the highest quality seasonal products.”
 
Commenting on his recent appointment, Gary says, “I am thrilled to rejoin the Maison Ducasse Paris, which has such a respected and talented group of professionals.”

What is his culinary philosophy and inspiration?   “Respect what is traditional (ie: the techniques) but modernise for the palate of today. I like to use readily available seasonal items and to create desserts that are lighter and healthier. I am inspired by seasonal flavours and what I see around me. The ideas for my desserts then come naturally.”

 

 

To experience Gary’s inspired desserts, reserve a table at Rech by Alain Ducasse.

InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Restaurant Reservations:  Tel: (852) 2313 2323  E-mail: fb.hongkong@ihg.com