You won’t be hard-pressed to find a chef who embraces sustainability nowadays, but few express as much reverence for nature as chef Yoshihiro Narisawa. Known for his “Innovative Satoyama cuisine”, Narisawa was ahead of his time when he decided to focus on indigenous Japanese ingredients and hyper seasonality over a decade ago. The approach has earned him much acclaim and made him one of the most famous Japanese chefs worldwide (at the very least, you may have seen him on Netflix's Final Table as the head judge for the Japan episode).
At his eponymous restaurant—ranked 22nd on The World Best Restaurants 2019 list—the chef continues to refine his philosophy by going further into the wild. To connect diners to nature is his mantra, and he sees sustainable sourcing of ingredients as one a chef’s most sacred responsibilities.
Apart from traversing the landscape of Japan to find producers to work with as well as rediscover nature’s bounty, he has established another place to champion the cause: Bees Bar by Narisawa. Located a short walk from his restaurant in Tokyo's Minami-Aoyama district, the year-old cocktail bar proffers the same sustainable ethos as his fine dining restaurant, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
The dim lighting, large wooden tables and photographs by Sergio Coimbra create a more casual feel but some things remain the same. Expect precise execution of cocktails, elevated bar snacks (don't miss the sumptuous Beef Hayashi rice and his amazing tartare sauce), as well as the same commitment to bringing the real forest to the urban jungle that is Tokyo. Here, he shares more about his new venture.