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Yoshinori Ishii
Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador
Yoshinori Ishii, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador, brings over twenty years of cooking experience to the elegant dishes Umu is famed for. As well as being a highly accomplished chef, he is also a skilled fisherman, potter, and calligrapher. Ishii has a rare eye for artful display and flavour, incorporating his expertise as not only a chef but also a skilled artist into each dish.

Ishii trained for nine years at the three Michelin-starred restaurant Kyoto Kitcho in Japan. Although he was sous chef, he also took responsibility for cultivating traditional Japanese vegetables and preserving and arranging all the cultural assets owned by the restaurant- from flower arranging to tableware. Following his time at Kyoto Kitcho, Ishii then became Head Chef at the Japanese Embassy for the United Nations in Geneva and New York, after which he worked as Omakase Chef at Morimoto restaurant also in New York. During his time there he received the prestigious ‘Rising Star Chef’ award and was a finalist for the Vilcek prize for culinary arts.

Ishii has designed the menus at Umu with both the traditional Japanese restaurant goer and the contemporary Japanese food lover in mind. The emphasis is on the provenance of the ingredients, for true Kyoto food is based around the core elements of water, vegetables and fish. He uses both traditional Japanese produce and locally sourced ingredients to create inventive Kyoto influenced cuisine, including Kaiseki; a Japanese banquet that traditionally accompanied the tea ceremony.

However, it is not just what is on the plate that is important to Ishii.

“At an early age I developed a love for fishing and farming. This taught me the importance of the provenance of the ingredients using the correct waters and soils to bring out the best flavours. However, when I caught and cooked my first fish I realised I needed other things to accompany it so I began making my own ceramics too. For me pottery and cooking are intricately connected - both depend on the correct use of ingredients and heat.”
In January 2012 Ishii was asked to cook for the politicians and world leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. As always, despite cooking for so many people he still ensured he was assisting with both the culinary and creative sides of the evening.

Shocked at the poor quality of the fish served in London’s restaurants, Ishii’s latest undertaking is to start a “Fish N Chip Revolution”.  This involves working closely with fishermen to ensure that fish is caught using “Ike jime” methods which preserve the quality of the fish, as well as minimising damage to marine wildlife. He is also negotiating with suppliers to guarantee it can be served in restaurants within a day.

In August 2013 Ishii competed at the Robb Report’s Culinary Masters Competition in Los Angeles, and was nominated as a rising star by Masaharu Morimoto.
Country Based In: United Kingdom
Establishment: Umu Restaurant
Hosted at: Tóng Lè Private Dining

Events Information
Wednesday 06 April 2016
Culinary Masterclass & Luncheon at Miele featuring Yoshinori Ishii
Event Closed

Wednesday 06 April 2016
Acqua Panna Pairing dinner with “Sake” featuring Yoshinori Ishii
Price: $388+
Event Closed

Thursday 07 April 2016 - Saturday 09 April 2016

WGS Epicurean Delights featuring Yoshinori Ishii

Price: $330++ per person
Dinner Only
Event Closed