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100 Stories: Ryuki Kawasaki Mezzaluna Chef de Cuisine

“It's very Japanese: Preparing good ingredients very simply, without distractions from the flavour of the ingredient itself.” Joel Robuchon

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki grew up in one of Japan’s culinary hotspots.
Known as the land of rice and sake;with fresh grains, valley greens and bountiful seafood,Niigata Prefecture is nestled between the sea and the mountains.

“I decided I wanted to be a chef when I was young”, explains Chef.“My grandmother taught me all about Japanese cuisine while my Mum was out working. I always liked to help her.” But it was French cuisine that really captured his imagination. “Sometimes my mum took me out to a French restaurant. I loved the flavours, the combination of complication and simplicity, were so exotic.”

By the time Chef Ryuki had joined Mezzaluna he had 20 years of experience working in French Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, Japan and the United States. While working at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas, he received the Chef of the Year award from both the Escoffier Society and Dessert Companion.

It wasn’t until coming to Mezzaluna, however, that he found his distinctive, “tao of Chef Ryuki”,that eventually earned him two Michelin stars. Chef says: “At Mezzaluna Deepak Ohri, the CEO, gave me complete creative freedom to express my ideas and my passion. I wanted to use it to offer guests a completely new gourmet dining experience. So, I began forming a highly original menu. Although classically French trained, I looked to my Japanese roots. I formed a style that is described as ‘innovative’ - fusing the richness, flavour and incredible texture of French cooking - with the simplicity, exquisite presentation and subtle nuances of Japan and Japanese products. Real umami is when the flavours take over your tongue.”

Chef Ryuki selects the finest exclusive ingredients from around the world without limit. Whether that is best lamb from France or Niigata Murakami Wagyu beef from Japan.

At Mezzaluna, Chef Ryuki and his team share the excitement and drama of cutting edge techniques from the large kitchen. Meanwhile the romance of Bangkok’s lights, the elegant fine dining décor and seamless service complete the show. “One thing I can promise is that in the future we will be sourcing even more exclusive ingredients than guests have seen in the past. Which I will be combining in adventurous and fun ways,” says Chef Ryuki.