WA News Celebrity Profiles 10 Minutes with …Tetsuya Sakamoto
10 Minutes with …Tetsuya Sakamoto
Written by Ms Jan Hallam
Saturday, 01 February 2014

 

Tetsuya was born in Tokyo and was always destined to be a chef, finding himself as a teenage working in a sushi bar and traditional wedding restaurant. He came to Australia to seek his fortune and learn to scuba dive and found himself at the forefront of Japanese cuisine working at Nobu in Melbourne and stints at Bang/Mirai in Dubai.

Tetsuya-Sakamoto-pic-Manny-Tamayo 250x320 "Food has been a massive influence in my family."

What made you want to be a chef?

I liked cooking more than studying when I was a kid. It was an obvious choice. 

Was food an important part of your childhood?

My mother is an excellent cook. She would make amazing dishes. Food has been a massive influence in my family. My mother spent hours in the kitchen during local festivals and I would always be her best side kick, helping her prepare and always learning from her.

Where did you learn to be a chef?

Japan, in Saitama.

Your path in Japan was quite traditional, what is it about traditional Japanese cuisine that excites you?

In Japan, we have different ingredients for every season. It would be hard to choose one from many but if I have to it would be Sukiyaki. 

What was the effect on your cooking by coming to Australia?

Coming to Australia definitely encouraged me to have a much broader prospective on cooking. It made me more international in outlook.

You worked in Nobu in Melbourne. Tell us a little about that experience?

Nobu Melbourne had many good chefs with many years’ experience in Japan and in other countries. To work with chefs who had such great skills has been an extraordinary learning experience. 

What made you head to Western Australia?

Perth has always been home for me. I have lived here most of my Australian life. Plus my family is here. 

Where do you source your ingredients?

I search both locally (Hunter Valley, Mt Gambier, Western Australia, Tasmania) as well as Japan and overseas. 

What are the most difficult ingredients to obtain?

Seaweed, Konbu and Higiki, in particular. 

What is the most popular dish at Tsunami?

Sushi plate and wagyu steak 

What do you miss most about Japan?

Food, friends and family.

What would your last meal be?

Toro (blue fin tuna belly) sushi