It is fascinating how much impact a great chef can make on a promising young cook with ambitions. The right master chef can alone train a new cook to become a true culinary expert and that was exactly what happened when Chef Patron Pascal Barbot at Astrance in Paris took on Chef Shuzo Kishida.
Chef Patron Shuzo Kishida was born in August in 1974 so he has many good years in front of him as an excellent chef. The Chef originates from the Aichi Prefecture in Japan and he started his career in 1993 when he joined the French restaurant La Mer in the Shima Hotel in Japan’s Mie Prefecture. He continued to work at another French cuisine restaurant in Japan called K M before he moved to France in 2000. He worked at several restaurants in France before Pascal Barbot took the cook under his wing and invited him to his amazing Astrance in Paris in 2003. Shuzo Kishida became Astrance’s Sous Chef already in 2004 so he moved quickly from a promising young chef to become something much more. Kishida moved back to Japan and Tokyo in 2006 where he founded Quintessence which almost immediately became a huge success. There are similarities with Astrance in Paris, but do not expect the same restaurant, but in Tokyo instead. No, Shuzo Kishida has clearly put his own signature on his restaurant and you will have a rather unique and very pleasant experience in his dining room.
The cooking techniques are French and so is the cuisine, but the ingredients are mostly from Japan and there are several Japanese touches in Kishida’s cooking. The Chef follows three different processes in his work with respecting the product as the first, and only buys the best as well as focus on the condition of each individual ingredient. The second step is the pursuing cooking process which is about the understanding of the actual cooking process without conforming to standard culinary practices. And the third step is the attention to detail in the seasoning process which is different compared to traditional French cooking. The seasoning is dependent on what is about to be prepared and not to follow any classic French concept with a rich blend of tastes. In short you can say that Shuzo Kishida’s cuisine is something for today’s modern people and not something which has been served for many years. The Chef’s cuisine is smart and contemporary and plays well with your taste buds.
The menu is changed daily depending on the available ingredients, and despite the fact that there are just around 25 seats in the restaurant and only one prefixed menu to choose, different dishes may be served at different tables. It all depends on availability and also if you are a regular or not since the restaurant tries its best to avoid serving you the same dish twice.
Quintessence is an impeccable restaurant which will not make you disappointed in any way, but it feels like this is just the beginning and even more is to expect from the little restaurant. It will be exciting to follow the development of the Chef and his culinary skills that already are right there at the very top in the world.
Written by Andy
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1F “Barbizon 25” building