[ Portrait ] Chef Satoshi Kubota
This year, Chef Satoshi Kubota took command of the Goéland’s restaurant in Porto-Vecchio. Of Japanese origin he arrived in France 40 years ago. He was passionate about the cuisine of our country very early on and his menu perfectly combines French cuisine and Japanese subtlety. From Japan to the Goéland, his journey is marked by beautiful encounters.
How did cooking come into your life ?
When I was a child living in Japan, my parents worked very hard and I was responsible for preparing meals for my two little brothers and I loved it!
Often we were invited to my aunt’s house who was a cook in the school canteen. With her I started to discover new dishes and new flavours, what she was preparing for us was always very good.
Very quickly I was very passionate about cooking shows on television (which were much less numerous than today).
Have you always wanted to make cooking your profession?
When I was in high school I didn’t even know that you could do hotel studies. I was thinking of going to university to study to be either a pharmacist or a veterinarian. One day I learned from the guidance counsellor that there were courses to be a cook and I understood that this is what I wanted to do. I was 17 years old, I wanted to go to France.
Why did you choose France?
I chose to go to Tokyo to learn French first, then to Osaka to study at the Tsuji Hotel School which was a good school and a very good gateway to France. One of my best memories in this school is the visit of the great French chef Raymond Olivier, this meeting made a big impression on me.
I was lucky enough to then be able to join one of the largest hotel chains in Japan at the time: the Prince Hotels group in Hakone. It was on this occasion that I met André Thiébaud, the Chief Consultant of the Prince Hotels group. I spoke to him in French and told him that I wanted to come and work and live in France. It is thanks to him that I am in France today.
Which French institutions have you worked in ?
When I arrived in Nice in 1981, I started working directly in a starred establishment (1 Michelin star), at the Saint Pancrace rotisserie, I was a kitchen assistant there.
In 1984 I was Chef de partie at Hotel Le Negresco in Nice (2 Michelin stars), then two years later I was Chef de partie with Chef Alain Ducasse at Hotel Juana (First Hotel in France to be awarded 2 Michelin stars). After that I was kitchen assistant and then Chef de Cuisine in different establishments. I spent a good part of my career in the South, then in Tahiti and Morocco.
Which chefs have influenced you?
I had the opportunity to meet some great chefs. I have worked alongside Alain Ducasse, Jacques Maximin, Bruno Cirino, Mauro Calgereco, Bruno Caironi, Franck Cerruti, Thierry Dufraud. I learned from each of them. With Jacques Maximin I learned a lot. He is a man of immense talent. His compliments on my work have always touched me a lot.
Chef Satoshi Kubota’s menu takes your senses on a journey. A variety of dishes combining philosophy and custom influenced by the land of the rising sun. To be discovered at the Table du Goéland every day for lunch or dinner.