Masterchef S01 ep14: Nori and Suki, Restaurant 7, [Sydney]
Interview with Nori and Suki
Charlie Trotter did not cook much but he was unbelievable when it came to composing recipes in his mind. He would tell us "Add that much wine. This produce with that . Oysters in red wine" . At the last minute he would ask me "Nori I need oyster with red wine emulsion with little fennel and stuff". The result was incredible.
To me Restaurant 7 is challenging in Sydney, the French influence with
Japanese, and we learning in French in Japan so we come naturally to this
I worked with very famous chef in Tokyo and Australia and Nori worked in
France and America too, and so together we create new dishes for Sydney.
KM – Who did you train with?
KM – In France?
Yes in France
KM – Where - Paris?
It is called Les Loges de l'Aubergade in Puymirol , a small village in between
Toulouse and Bordeaux
KM – You were born in Tokyo or Japan?
Yes in Japan, but not in Tokyo, I was brought up in Hitachi.
KM – How old were you when you left Japan?
I was 21.
KM – Were you studying food technology or gastronomy at 21?
Yes I went to cooking school in Osaka and after to Tokyo for two years, and
then I studied in France for 3 years then I went to America where I worked in
Chicago at Charlie's Trotters and later met Sydney Chef - Tetsuya in Chicago
and then came to Sydney.
You were studying French cuisine in Japan?
Yes I was
KM – What did you find fascinating about French Cuisine?
I think that because French people are fascinated with Japanese culture, they
are interested in Japanese food and the same thing with Japanese, they are
interested in French cuisine. It is a completely different food, the produce, no
butter, no cream, no baking, essentially a cuisine based on raw food. Whereas
French cuisine uses cream, butter and cooking for long time, nice and slow. In
the end we're both looking for the same thing - a fine dining experience.
KM – What did the Emperor have in Japan - white Truffles and Caviar? What
is the equivalent in Japan?
It is called Matsutaki mushroom. They look like porcini mushroom and I think
that they are only available in Japan, Korea and Canada - it would be
impossible to find it here in Australia
KM – That is one of the top ingredients? What other ingredients?
Lots of fishes, rock lobsters ...
KM – What did you learn from your Chef in France?
Of course I learnt basic cooking techniques, creating sauces and stuff but
most importantly was how to come up with dishes as a chef, the intellectual
part of cooking - how to combine produce, using seasonal and regional
produce, and combining great food with wine.
I spent most of my time in the Burgundy area. The Burgundy cuisine is based
around red wine and white wine reducing in sauces. Then adding caviar,
mushrooms, and other exceptional French produce that wine is absolutely
going well with.
KM – It is the marriage.
Yeah, it is the marriage.
KM – Why did you go to Charlie Trotter?
Actually I didn't know him before going to Chicago but Michel Trammas
introduced me - Charlie is a unique chef as he uses Asian technique with
complete freedom and variety so Michel decided to send me there. It was a
KM – So you found Charlie Trotter's restaurant was a mixture of Asian and
Yes, I also felt very at home there, because I liked his style. I am Japanese
and he is American but he also had learnt Japanese technique and I was very
happy to see that he was working with these two different styles.
KM – How long were you with Charlie?
I was there two years.
KM – What did you learn from Charlie?
Same thing, but I learning from his mental ability to create dishes. He did not
cook much but he was unbelievable when it came to composing recipes in his
mind. He would tell us "Add that much wine. This produce with that. Oysters
in red wine". At the last minute he would ask me "Nori I need oyster with red
wine emulsion with little fennel and stuff". That is incredible.
KM – So he was composing dishes in his mind and he wanted you to realise
Of course I'm learning from him too, and I am learning from French chef too,
so I mix a little of everything - I have worked with so many different chefs so
I've picked things up from all of them.
I came to Australia in 1991 and I worked with a French Chef.
KM – Which one?
His name is Maurice Guilette, he used to be the chef at Jamin Robuchon
KM – Oh with Robuchon?
KM – What did you learn from him?
I learnt many things but I learnt that you cook from your heart.
KM – From your heart.
KM – What made him special?
He was not cooking Robuchon's recipes in Australia, he was cooking his style.
We use many small suppliers and we have connection with Tasmanian people
- some are Japanese people working in Tasmania in the fish business.
KM – In the fish business? So they know what to select for you.
We get Ocean Trout, sea ocean abalone, Japanese people not making kobi
beef, but marbled beef.
KM – You can get you marbled beef - here in Australia?
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Nori and Suki, Restaurant 7, [Sydney]