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In Conversation with Chef Ryuki Kawasaki

11/01/2018

A Chef with no boundaries, a Chef known for bringing to life a fusion of different flavours, everything from Thai, to Japanese to French. He is none other than Chef Ryuki, Chef De Cuisine at Mezzaluna, one of the flagship restuaurants at the Tower Club at lebua.

Chef Ryuki brings over 20 years of experience working at some of the most prestigious restaurants throughout Japan, the United States and Europe. He has extraordinary skill combining Asian cuisine with European techniques, creating unique flavors and dishes that wow his guests.

HospiBuz brings you an exclusive interview, straight from Chef Ryuki, to learn more about how he evolved his great technique and refined his cooking style.

HospiBuz:  Being born and brought up in Japan, what influenced you the most to pursue cooking professionally?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki: What always stuck with me is that we cook according to the four seasons and use the ingredients of the season. We select the best ingredients, ingredients that bring out the respective characteristics and really represent the season in the dish.

HospiBuz: Japan is known for its culture and discipline. How much of that influenced you in creating your unique style of cooking, infusing flavors from Japan with flavors from the west?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki:  I think that more than my being Japanese, it’s the sensibility that came from the experience of being a Japanese chef cooking French cuisine and working in a variety of countries, Japan, Paris, London and Las Vegas that has shaped my style of cooking the most.

HospiBuz:  Do you think perception around Japanese cuisine has changed in the global market, with people inclining more towards Japanese tastes and flavors?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki:  It’s true that Japanese cuisine has become a global cuisine and is now familiar to people around the world. It’s great to see people from different environments experiencing and embracing our cuisine.

HospiBuz: You have been working as Chef de Cuisine at Mezzaluna. How would you rate your experience at lebua and how it has been different from your past experiences?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki:  Obviously the biggest difference is that all dishes are 100% created by me. I’ve previously had to work with consultant chefs so now being able to truly create on my own is wonderful. I’m very happy with what I’m doing here but I also know we have to continue to improve.

HospiBuz:  Being well known on an International level, how has that influenced the evolution of your style of cooking?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki:  Like all chefs, I always want to keep working to improve and evolve my style of cooking; being well known just gives my cooking a larger audience.

HospiBuz:  What are some of your favorite ingredients and spices that you’ve encountered during your culinary journey?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki:  Too many… just some examples:

Japan – fresh yuzu, fresh wasabi, sea urchin, matsutake, niigata murakami wagyu beef

France – Brittany scallop, blue lobster and turbot, Bresse chicken and pigeon, Challans duck, Quercy lamb, truffles

England – dover sole, live langoustine from Scotto land, smoked haddock

USA – Live Santa-Barbara spot prawn and spiny lobster, Alaskan king crab & halibut

Blended spice like madras curry, ras el hanout, vadouvan. (I know very nice spice vendor in the US. He has the best spices from all over the world and even blends his own spices.)

HospiBuz:  For any Chef that aspires to compete in the international market, what are the “Must Do’s” to keep in mind right from Culinary School so that entering and adjusting into the international market becomes a bit easier?

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki: I always had a strong hope of becoming a great chef one day. My advice would be to take interest in everything, study and more than anything work hard in the kitchen.

     Thank you so much for your prestigious time!!

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