Conversation with Ginza Aster Grand Chef
The other day I had the pleasure to interview Minakawa san, the Grand Chef of Ginza Aster. He is a genuinely all round nice guy and it was a great insight to speak to someone in his position. We spoke about various aspects of his time at Aster Ginza, their concept and what he does specifically.
He explained that he has spent all of his working life at Aster Ginza as they hire only new graduates. He explained ‘I have always loved cooking, but I didn't know weather I was interested in Chinese, French, Italian or Japanese cuisine. Just, I liked cooking so asked my school teacher for advice. He said to me ‘How about going to Ginza Aster?’ as his teacher knew of high the quality of the internal training.
He went on to explain that the Ginza Aster philosophy was to hire only new graduates and train them completely in house. Minakawa san been sent to 10 places around China to continually study each region's style of food and bring back this knowledge. Ginza Aster is a general Chinese restaurant , not only Cantonese cuisine or any one individual region. The concept behind this practice being to experience each authentic cuisine in China and serve similar dishes to customers in Tokyo, enhanced and improved using local ingredients. Minakawa san is responsible for deciding the menu for not only the head store in Ginza but all 22 branches. The menu generally changes quarterly with the seasons so this is quite a responsibility.
We had a very interesting chat and I was vey grateful for Minakawa san to take the time to give me this opportunity.