The Square is a restaurant in Mayfair awarded with two Michelin stars. It recently hired its new head chef which is causing quite a shock to people who are in the gastronomic industry. It is the first time to happen in London that an elite French restaurant is being headed by a Japanese chef.
However, upon looking at the experience and background of Yu Sugimoto will prove that he deserves the spot and he will excel in it. He has nine years’ worth of experience under the mentorship of both Alain Ducasse and Yannick Alleno while working in Le Meurice which is based in Paris. It is no question that he is a master of the French cuisine and will excel like a high-class French chef.
The new owner of The Square is Marlon Abela who also owns the admiral Japanese Umu located in Bruton Place. According to Abela, the kitchen cooking technique in The Square has a modern high-class cuisine while incorporated into it is the Japanese sensibility.
While the appointment is unique in London, it is not a surprising scenario in Paris because Sugimoto is not the only Japanese head chef there. Around 40 of the restaurants that are located in the city have head chefs that are Japanese. It is known that there is an existing mutual respect when it comes to culinary aspect between the two countries – Japan and France. They both have an extensive tradition when it comes to restaurants in their respective countries.
According to Abela, Japanese chefs have become important parts of many Italian as well as Spanish restaurants. This is because of their one single character – they take things seriously and in a good way, too, including the restaurant, food, and technique which has been rooted in their culture.
The prevailing trend of the Japanese cannot only be seen in Japanese chefs preparing French cuisine but also in the fact that they have great influenced wherever you go. There is a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok which is not surprising but their influence can also be seen in non-Japanese restaurants that are serving sushi, yuzu juice, wagyu beef and sake. Clearly, the Japanese cuisine has already created such an impact in the world.