Chef revelations: Yasuda Akinori, head chef, Sumi, London

13 August 2021
Chef revelations: Yasuda Akinori, head chef, Sumi, London

What was your best subject at school?


What was your first job?

I worked in a food factory in Japan

What was your first job in catering?

My dad had a restaurant in our family home and I helped out from a young age. I did everything from waiting tables to helping in the kitchen

What do you normally have for breakfast?


What do you do to relax?

I like to spend an evening watching films, or videos on YouTube

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Okina Soba in Tokyo

What's your favourite hotel?

I wouldn't say I have one specific favourite hotel, but I love a Japanese ryokan hotel. It's a traditional inn found all over Japan that is very simple and minimalistic, just with mats on the floor rather than a bed

What is your favourite cuisine?


What is your favourite drink?

Japanese sake – all types

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

I don't like MSG or anything that is too floral

Which person in catering have you most admired?

My father

What daily newspaper/website do you read?


Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

My knife

What's your favourite film?

Anything by Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation film studio

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

Doing something with sports, such as running

When and where was your last holiday?

I went to Japan last year

What irritates you most about the industry?

The long hours

What's your favourite book?

I love anything by Yukio Mishima

If you had more time, what would you do?

Spend more time with my kids

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