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Nov 17, 2016

Japan and Gilles Tournadre, over 25 years of shared love!

Fallen in the melting pot of Japanese food flavors in 1989, Gilles Tournadre is since an ardent supporter of the culinary exchanges with this country.

You who are sometimes amazed at the intrusion of Japan in Gilles Tournadre’s cuisine, know that it comes from a strong cultural attachment with the land of the rising sun.


During his first trip, in 1989, Gilles Tournadre discovered a healthy and delicate cuisine, with lots of broth, vegetables and fish. Touched by Japanese culture and a cuisine based on respect for the persons and products, he will go there regularly for gastronomic weeks organized in Tokyo in major hotels and the rest of the archipelago.

Exchanges with Japanese chefs are each very intense. Gilles Tournadre is now part of the French chefs sought by the Japanese for seminars, but also as a consultant and representative of the French cuisine in Japan. It is also because today, he is himself very steeped in Japanese cuisine. Through the French Food Culture Center, managed by Ms. Harumi Osawa, he organizes annual conferences, cooking lessons and master classes.

He even opened in 2005 a restaurant, La Maison Gill - Ashiya (Michelin star), which became this year the House of Taka in Ashiya, combining the best of the two culinary cultures, with all the expertise of Gilles Tournadre and his head Chef Takyama Hideki.

"I'm in love with Japan and its cuisine since my first visit. I go there several times a year and this country still fascinates me as much. I love its traditions such as buying fresh fishes alive. The famous fish market in Tokyo is an amazing place for the freshness and quality of products. For a chef who loves the products of the sea, it is a kind of paradise. I am also very sensitive to the tea ceremony. This ceremonial requires you to take the time to enjoy a tea prepared with great thoroughness. This society can appear to be thousands of kilometers away from our own and yet we share the same passion for food. I learned a lot there. At least as much as I taught the art of French cuisine. Their food is also considered as an art and I like to mix the two approaches at Gill, my restaurant in Rouen. These exchanges are very important to me because they open the mind to new sources of inspiration, towards different products, through new techniques or cooking methods. I learned to use the Yuzu, the Miso or soy sauces, and how to prepare a Dashi. These gestures and flavors which I use in my cuisine have enriched my vocabulary. We also welcome regularly Japanese chefs in training at the restaurant in Rouen. Kazuyuki Tanaka, a form chef from Gill, spent several years at the restaurant before opening his own in Reims, Racine. I am very pleased that he has taken this step. I was actually with him in Japan few weeks ago! "


So do not be surprised to find Japanese flavors in some of  Gilles Tournadre’s dishes, it is his way of honoring these ancestral culinary traditions and profound cultural relations.


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