Official Profile of Toyomitsu Nakayama, Owner/Executive Chef of Restaurant TOYO
Chef Nakayama apprenticed at famed French restaurant
“Jean Moulin” in Kobe after graduating from a culinary academy in Osaka. In 1994, he moved to France to further his career and was greeted by the question “what is your specialty?”
To answer that question, Chef Nakayama decided to study Japanese cuisine as he is Japanese himself.
In 1996, Chef Nakayama started working at authentic Japanese restaurant, Isse, in Paris. Although he was eventually promoted to head chef, Nakayama was scouted by a regular customer who asked him to work as own his personal chef. That customer was the world-renowned designer Mr Kenzo Takada. In 2009, thinking that he would like to have his own restaurant, Chef Nakayama opened “Restaurant TOYO” in Paris, which he named after himself.
There, and now also at Restaurant TOYO Tokyo, portraits of Chef Nakayama which were painted by Mr Kenzo Takada proudly sits on display.
Offering a French-style menu that pays homage to both French and Japanese cuisine, each dish incorporates fresh ingredients and is delivered with high quality flavor. Moreover, the smaller portions let customers to enjoy various flavors, leading to popularity among women and those in the fashion industry. Featured in various media both inside and outside of Paris, Restaurant TOYO is now famously known as an exclusive, difficult to reserve restaurant.
Message from Chef Toyomitsu Nakayama
I do not compromise when looking for the freshest seasonal ingredients.
I look for ingredients that were lovingly nurtured by the producers. They are the best of nature’s bounty, and allow us to imagine its origins.
I am committed to leveraging the ingredients as they are.
When I encounter a wonderful ingredient, I think first of ways in which to maximize its potential.
In order for my customers to enjoy a variety of flavors, I have chosen to present a large number of dishes in small portions.
I also have the wish to feed the customer’s soul with each dish that I create for them. Although cooking is a form of self-expression, I create these dishes with gratitude toward my customers and place value on the emotions they feel when trying the food I have prepared for them.
I aim to create spectacular presentations that will inspire and bring a smile to your face. I want my customers to be able to savor my dishes with all five senses, including by sight and taste.
Perhaps my role is to support you in your culinary journey
– I am someone who is able to propose new flavors for you to savor and enjoy.
I merge the rich food culture of Japan with that of Europe, people with people, and chefs with customers.
I believe that food is the bridge that connects to the future, surpassing the time and space boundaries of countries, traditions, and cultures.
I wish to keep honoring the universal beauty and creativity, and hope to be able to provide dreams not only to future chefs, but to myself. To a brilliant future… from Paris to Japan.
And from Japan to the world.
Restaurant TOYO Paris, Owner and Executive Chef
Official Profile of Yuya Omori,
Chef at Restaurant TOYO Tokyo
Born in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1983, Chef Omori graduated from Tsuji Culinary Institute in 2004. That same year, he joined Huis ten Bosch Hotels KK and studied under Chef Masaru Kamikakimoto, the former apprentice to Chef Alain Chapel.
Chef Kamikakimoto’s teachings included philosophies of cooking with gratitude for the blessings of nature and the customers, incorporating plenty of fresh ingredients, and the importance of being a top-class person before being a top-class chef.
In 2008, Chef Omori started working at both Épouvantail in Osaka and Hashimoto, a “yoshoku” restaurant in Kumamoto where he learned the owner’s philosophies and beliefs toward ingredients. Anyone can cook and add salt to dishes, but how you serve the customers is the most important thing.
It is imperative to adjust each dish to fit the age and physical condition of the customer. In 2010, Chef Omori left for France to study under Chef Toyomitsu Nakayama at Restaurant TOYO. Although he returned to Japan thereafter, he participated in the TOYO Project in 2015. In 2017, he headed to France to work under Chef Toyomitsu Nakayama at Restaurant TOYO once again.
In March 2018, Chef Omori was appointed chef at Restaurant TOYO Tokyo Tokyo Midtown Hibiya.
Message from Yuya Omori
I went to Paris to study under Chef Nakayama at Restaurant TOYO.
I was in awe of his commitment to the quality of ingredients used, and his vision of merging Western and Japanese elements.
By seeing him cooking with fresh ingredients, a new perception toward ingredients was born within me.
I was also moved by the detailed attention that Chef Nakayama exhibited toward his customers, as well as the passion that he dedicated to his cooking and in plating each dish. With a wish to incorporate that passion within myself,
I study Japanese philosophy in relation to the spirit of “wabisabi” as learned through tea ceremonies.
I believe that this also relates to a uniquely Japanese ability to see the true essence of things with a calm soul and sensitive spirit.
It is the soul’s way of finding beauty… In advance of the grand opening of Japan’s first Restaurant TOYO Tokyo, I take the words of my mentor to heart. But above all else, I hope that I can replicate the sensibilities that have been passed down to me by Chef Nakayama to create dishes that have a “soul”.
I would like to put a smile on all of your faces through my cooking.
Chef, Restaurant TOYO Tokyo