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SELECTION COMMITTEE

  • Yoshiki Tsuji

    Headmaster of Tsuji Culinary Institute and president of Tsujicho Group

    Profile

  • Naoyuki Honda

    President CEO, Leverage Consulting Inc.

    Profile

  • Takefumi Hamada

    CEO, Access All Areas Inc.

    Profile

WRITER

  • Sawako Kimijima

    Editor-in-chief, Cuisine Press Inc.

    Profile

  • Robbie Swinnerton

    Food writer

    Profile

PROFILE

Yoshiki Tsuji

Headmaster of Tsuji Culinary Institute and president of Tsujicho Group

Yoshiki Tsuji heads schools in Osaka, Tokyo and France that groom would-be food professionals, sending over 140,000 graduates into the food service industry in Japan as well as abroad. At the G20 Osaka summit in 2019, he served as executive producer of a dinner for heads of state. He has contributed to the development of food culture, serving on a committee screening nominees for the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Ryori Masters (Masters of Cooking) award program. He has also lectured in various places in Japan and overseas. Tsuji was awarded France’s National Order of Merit in 2018.

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PROFILE

Naoyuki Honda

President CEO, Leverage Consulting Inc.

Based in Hawaii and Tokyo, Naoyuki Honda leads a life under the motto of mixing business with pleasure, traveling around regions across Japan and Europe, as well as other parts of the world. He has written over 75 books, which sold over 3 million copies. Notable titles include “Naze Nihonjin Shefu wa Sekai de Shobu Dekita noka” (“Why These Japanese Chefs Have Been Globally Successful”). He daily pursues food, whether it is from street stalls, local cuisine or dinner at three-star restaurants. Honda has produced events such as Dream Dusk, featuring multiple leading chefs, and Inspire by Relux, an event in which participants stay at a luxurious ryokan Japanese-style hotel.

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PROFILE

Takefumi Hamada

CEO, Access All Areas Inc.

Takefumi Hamada is the No.1 ranked restaurant reviewer for three consecutive years as determined by the OAD (Opinionated About Dining) Top Restaurants, having dined at the best restaurants in 120 countries and regions around the world. He is an advisor to businesses in entertainment, food and hospitality, as well as an investor in food technology startups. Takefumi has a background in finance, starting his career as an investment banker before moving on to private equity. He holds a B.A. magna cum laude, with distinction in Political Science, from Yale University.

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PROFILE

Sawako Kimijima

Editor-in-chief, Cuisine Press Inc.

Kimijima founded in 2006 Ryori Tsushin (The Cuisine Press), a food magazine that reports on the latest trends of food scenes in Japan and abroad from a unique perspective (publication suspended after the final issue dated January 2021). Her web cooking media, The Cuisine Press, offers ideals of what food should essentially be, instead of just what is consumed from one era to another. Kimijima, who serves on the screening panel for the technician section of the “Culinary Expert Award: special category of Shizuo Tsuji Award of Gastronomy,” contributes columns to the “&Premium” magazine and “Axis,” a magazine on design, both published in Japanese. She has written a book in Japanese entitled, “Gaishoku 2.0” “Eating Out 2.0”, published by Asahi Press Inc.

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PROFILE

Robbie Swinnerton

Food writer

Robbie Swinnerton is a British writer and food journalist who has been based in Japan for four decades. Traveling extensively within the country, from Hokkaido down to Okinawa, he has researched and reported on the food culture, both traditional and contemporary. His work has been featured in media around the world, including The Guardian, CNN, South China Morning News, Saveur, Vogue and Time Out. His restaurant review column, Tokyo Food File, has run in The Japan Times since 1998. He also works on news and travel documentaries with Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. He lives in Kamakura, where he makes umeboshi pickles each summer and konbu-katsuobushi dashi almost daily.

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