As the former head chef of neo-Parisian restaurant Belon in Hong Kong, which placed at No. 4 at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2020, 33-year-old Daniel Calvert was on top of his game. But instead of doing what any sensible chef would have done, which was to continue helming this popular establishment, he packed his bags instead and moved to Tokyo, Japan in search of culinary inspiration.
“I had been using Japanese ingredients in Hong Kong but would like to know more about their provenance,” explains Calvert, who arrived in Tokyo last November and has already explored many prefectures in Japan. He often visits Toyosu Fish Market, too, to discover “Sushi Saito” quality fish a well as meet and develop close relationships with seafood suppliers.
With a mastery of classic European culinary techniques, he learned at Michelin-starred establishments such as Per Se in New York (where he was the youngest sous chef) and Epicure in Paris, as well as a deeper knowledge of Japanese produce and ingredients, he is all set to open his first restaurant in Japan, Sézanne, at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. It’s named after a small town in the Champagne region, where he has fond memories of visiting his grandparents at their holiday home.