A Meal Like No Other: Chef Jun Yukimura Takes Over Yakumi This June
A true genius of of the Kaiseki cuisine, chef Jun Yukimura is just one of the few three-michelin starred chefs in Japan. Despite such fame, his culinary genius is rather difficult for gourmands and gastronomes to catch, as his restaurant only seats a total of 15 persons.
But lucky for us Manila foodies, chef Jun together with Yakumi's Head Chef, Norimasa Kosaka, will be preparing a bespoke eight course Kaiseki menu that will highlight the unique flavorful twists of each dish. This, paired with a selection of Sake to be enjoyed on June 6, 7, and 8 from 7 to 9 pm.
Could you explain what kyo-to cuisine is? How is your food different from other restaurants that serve this food?
Kyoto cuisine is derived from a tea ceremony that is a tradition of the region. Kaiseki-style cuisine is known for its refined and delicate taste. Japan has a variety of cooking techniques and styles but it all comes from one tradition; it is the authenticity and traditional methods that differentiate one from another.
Do you feel more pressure that you have 3 stars and have maintained this level of excellence and the award for multiple years?
I was pressured upon the announcement of my 3-star rating and now I am more pressured to meet the diners’ expectations.
Could you describe your culinary aesthetic or style? What is important to you when you are cooking?
It’s Yukimura style—my style. I am obsessed with what I do and I just continue doing it every day.
How do you conceptualize new dishes? What inspires you?
Every day, I search for new kinds of food and dishes…tasting and experimenting. But because of my age, a little bit of my expression has changed. I am always thinking of ways to create new tastes and flavours.
What is your favorite part of your job?
As far as my cooking style is concerned, I am so obsessed. For my set menu, it’s like music and harmony in terms of balancing the taste when putting together the ingredients. For me, I think the lighter and softer tastes are more delicious—but I am not saying that strong flavours are not good.
What life experiences have contributed to your culinary growth and success?
It’s not just me alone but also the staff involved working in my team which embodies great teamwork.
What advice do you have to young chefs?
Whether you work in a kitchen or not, to all the youth out there, there will be trials and problems—don’t ever give up. Keep yourself motivated and make your life an inspiration to others!