Born in Saitaima, Japan, Matsuhisa’s father tragically died in a car accident at the age of seven, leading him to be raised by his mother along with his two brothers. This led him to travelling from country to country, learning of different cultures. A skill that would be crucial in Matsuhisa’s future fusion cuisine.
By the time of his graduation from high school, Matsuhisa began to apprentice in bars across Tokyo, finally staying at Matsue Sushi in the major commercial district district of Shinjuki. Here, Matsuhisa remained for seven years, becoming classically trained in the craft of Japanese cuisine. During this time, Matsuhisa would regularly get to know the customers, one of which of Peruvian descent, would invite him to use his training to open a Japanese restaurant in Peru.
At the age of 24, Matsuhisa moved to Lima where he proceeded to plan a full Japanese menu. However, one miscalculation was made by Matsuhisa. Many of the ingredients that were common-place in Japan, were rarely if not entirely unavailable in Peru. This therefore led to a new style, born from improvisation that incorporated Peruvian food into the traditional Japanese dishes that Matsuhisa had come to learn. As a result, the cuisine that Matsuhisa would come to be known for was made.
After three years, Matsuhisa moved to Anchorage, Alaska where he opened his own restaurant, using the new recipes and techniques acquired from his time in South America. Yet, this was not to be, as a fire destroyed the restaurant within the first two weeks. However, being in North America now allowed new opportunities such as moving to the US to work in 1977. Within a decade, Matsuhisa had opened his first American venue, ‘Matsuhisa’ in Los Angeles.
Here, following the acclaim of the new ‘Matsuhisa’, the chef met famed actor Robert De Niro, who became his partner, along with Meir Teper and Drew Neirporent in developing a sleek, new set of restaurants beginning with ‘Nobu’ in New York.
Following on from the success of ‘Nobu’ in New York, multiple restaurants have opened across the world from London to Hong Kong. With Matsuhisa’s exciting and innovative blend of cuisine journeying across the globe from humble beginnings in Japan and Peru to a global presence across four continents.